NATO endorses Afghanistan exit plan

  • NATO leaders have endorsed plans to hand over combat command to Afghan forces by mid-2013.

    The leaders meeting in Chicago confirmed NATO troops would leave by the end of 2014, with only training units remaining.

    The two-day summit brought together leaders from more than 50 countries including 28 NATO nations and Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.

    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen denied that Zardari had been invited to seal a deal on the reopening of supply routes that were closed after a U.S. drone strike in November killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

    U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed this, saying: "We didn't anticipate the supply issue would be resolved but we are making diligent progress."

    Zardari has been quoted as saying that his government was in favor of resolving the issue.