Brussels: The roadmap for the continued
presence of US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014 would be prepared later this week, senior NATO officials have said.
NATO`s international security force is likely to
exercise its presence in Afghanistan till 2024, top officials
at NATO headquarters here told.
While confirming that the 2014 deadline for the
cessation of US-led combat forces would be in place, top NATO
officials said, "We are not leaving Afghanistan after 2014,"
adding that "2014 should not be taken as a complete
"We will not abandon Afghanistan after 2014," reiterated
the official, adding that the Afghans feared they might again
be abandoned as had happened with them earlier by the Soviet Union.
The presence of NATO forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014
was important to ensure the prevention of a power struggle in
the country, following the thinning down of US-led forces.
The NATO officials said even though the details of their
continued commitment to Afghanistan would be chalked out by
May 2012, the official confirmed that, "we will continue to
provide training, practical and political support to it".
The official stated that instead of the plan to
"transition and leave", NATO would follow the plan of
"transition and continue", while stressing on an enduring
partnership beyond 2014.
NATO will continue in Afghanistan in its reconstruction
and development, he said.
He said once the security is handed over to the Afghan
forces in 2014, there will be no need for the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the current form. (MORE)