Afghan Forces Not Ready for Post-2014 Threats: Rassoul
 
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On an official trip to Sri Lanka, Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul stated Thursday that Afghan forces will not be fully prepared to confront possible treats after the international forces withdraw from the country.

He said that fighting the insurgency will not end by 2014 and Afghanistan will need continued support from international troops.

Rassoul's comments directly contradict statements from President Karzai, who maintains that the Afghan forces are ready and willing to take control of security in Afghanistan. Karzai has been firmly demanding the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan, saying the war on terrorism is not in Afghanistan and attention should be paid to Pakistan, where terrorists are based.

Meanwhile, reacting to withdrawal of 4,000 British soldiers in 2013, the Ministry of National Defense has urged that Afghan forces will replace the departing British troops.

"The National Army and security forces of Afghanistan are able to take responsibility for all of Afghanistan by 2013," said General Zahir Azimi, Ministry spokesman.

"There will be no security vacuum in Helmand after withdrawal of British forces," he added.

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