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NATO Chief Vows Continued Support For Afghan Forces

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (L) speaks during a press conference as new NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg looks on at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on November 6, 2014.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has vowed during a visit to Kabul that the alliance will continue to support Afghanistan after all foreign combat troops withdraw by the end of the year.

Stoltenberg said that in 2015 NATO will open "a new chapter" in which Afghanistan's future is "in the hands of the Afghan people."

He said NATO's residual force of some 12,500 troops that will remain in Afghanistan will "train, advise, and assist Afghan forces" while NATO will continue to help fund Afghanistan's army.

President Ashraf Ghani said Afghanistan needs financial and material resources for its 350,000-member armed forces and that Kabul is "reassured" by NATO's continued commitment to train and equip Afghan forces.

NATO troops have been training Afghan security forces and fighting against the Taliban and other militant groups for 13 years.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa