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US Desires Strong, Sovereign Afghanistan: Hagel

Chuck Hagel, the Defense Secretary nominee

WASHINGTON – The United States wanted Afghanistan to be a strong and sovereign nation with a significant future, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday, and explaining transition is that country was intended to be orderly and responsible. “We want them (Afghanistan) to be a strong sovereign nation with a significant future,” Hagel told reporters at a Pentagon news conference. “It was always intended an orderly, responsible transition of the United States, ISAF forces out of Afghanistan. That’s what we are building for.”

In response to a question, the secretary said each agreement, including the Parwan detention facility turnover, would lead to a peaceful transition that would put Afghanistan in a position to have a prosperous future with continued US assistance. “That essentially was agreed to at the NATO meeting in Chicago in early summer, with our NATO partners in Afghanistan. And we’re on our way to do that. It’s jaggedy, raggedy, not easy, up and down, but we’re on track. Our force reductions are on track. But that’s just all part of it. Afghanistan’s a sovereign nation,” he remarked.

At a separate news conference, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said President Barack Obama had made clear many times the Americans wanted to continue to work with the Afghan people to help them build democratic institutions that were critical to the stability of that country. (Xinhua)


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