Afghan national security forces took over full responsibility for the country’s security Thursday, as NATO-led coalition forces ended their 13-year-old active combat mission and started a new phase providing training, advice, and assistance.
“I congratulate Afghans for this historic day,” said President Ashraf Ghani while marking the transition.
“We will not allow our soil to be used against our neighbours and we do expect same from our neighbors,” he said.
The United States and other Western countries have said the military mission in Afghanistan was to prevent the country harbouring any terrorists who might launch attacks overseas.
Many of the recent Taliban attacks on Afghan and international troops in Afghanistan have themselves been launched from across the border in Pakistan.
Afghan troops have taken a lead role in security operations since NATO handed over those responsibilities two years ago.
Violence has surged in AfghanIstan in 2014 ahead of the withdrawal of NATO troops.
NATO coalition troops begin their Resolute Support Mission from January 1, under which around 13,000 foreign troops will act as trainers and advisors to the Afghan forces. SAPA