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NATO chief vows not to abandon Afghanistan

•, Agence France-Presse

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen Wednesday vowed not to abandon Afghanistan as foreign nations plan to transition forces out of the country after a decade of conflict.

“We will not abandon Afghanistan, we will not leave behind a security vacuum,” he told a National Press Club lunch in Canberra.

NATO plans to withdraw its 130,000 troops by the end of 2014, andRasmussen said there would also be a likely political transition asAfghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to step down at the next election, due the same year.

“Yes, we would expect President Karzai to abide by the Afghan constitution which… doesn’t allow him to run again for president,” he said.

Secretary General Rasmussen said the international community had a “common interest in and a common responsibility” to see the decade-long intervention in Afghanistan through to a successful end.

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