Afghan gov't takes over security charge of W Herat city
Afghan officials and NATO officials attend a ceremony in Herat, Afghanistan, July 21, 2011. Afghan government took over the security responsibility on Thursday from NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in western Herat city, 640 km west of Kabul. (Xinhua/Ahmad Massoud)
Afghan government took over the security responsibility on Thursday from NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in western Herat city, the capital of Herat province, 640 km west of capital city Kabul.
In a ceremony attended by Afghans and NATO-led forces officials, Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak said, "This is our national responsibility to take over our security and defend our country."
Speaking on the occasion, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, chairman of Afghan Transition Coordination Commission, said that, "20 billion U.S. dollars would be spent in strengthening the capability of Afghan national security forces within the next three years." He added that 800 million out of the amount would be invested in supporting security forces in Herat.
The process of handing over security responsibility from over 140,000-strong NATO-led troops to Afghan security forces begun on Sunday and so far Afghan government has assumed the security charge of Bamyan, Mehterlam, Lashkar Gah and Herat cities.
Afghan security forces would assume the security charge of Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif and Panjshir province from NATO-led troops in the coming days and weeks.
As per schedule, taking over security by Afghan government and the withdrawal of NATO-led troops, began this month, would be completed by the end of 2014.