President Karzai has confirmed the second group of Afghan provinces, cities and districts to make the transition to Afghan security lead. Over the coming months, Afghan security forces will progressively take over lead responsibility for providing security in a further 18 areas.
This is another significant step towards our shared goal of an Afghanistan governed and secured by Afghans for Afghans.
I congratulate the government and people of Afghanistan on this announcement. Together with the first phase of transition, which was launched in July, this means that Afghan forces will soon be providing lead security for over half the Afghan population.
Transition is firmly on track. It is driven by the determination of the Afghan people and sustained by the courage of the Afghan National Security Forces and of ISAF. We will keep our commitment to training and supporting the Afghan security forces throughout the transition process, and beyond.