KABUL - Afghan forces have the potential to take security lead by the end of 2014, NATO officials said on Friday.
NAT officials in Kabul said Afghan security forces will have the necessary potential to take full security lead after 2014.
Afghan military officials have said efforts to train and equip Afghan security forces have been stepped up in the last one year and that Afghan National Army has received modern equipment to some extent.
There are predictions that more areas currently held by insurgents will fall to the Afghan forces before 2014.
As the first phase of transition is approaching, officials in Afghan ministries of defense and interior have said preparations are underway.
Commander of 505 Spinghar military Corp has urged launch of public awareness programs to encourage the Afghan people to cooperate in the transition process.
"Our forces are prepared to take security responsibilities by the end of 2014," Shir Mohammad Karimi, MoD Chief of Staff, said.
Commander of 505 Spinghar zone also expressed optimism that the Afghan forces will be prepared to take lead with international support.
Meanwhile, Lt Gen. David Rodriguez the second in command of foreign troops said efforts are underway to make sure that Afghan forces are trained and equipped ahead of the security transition.
He also said Afghanistan will soon sign long-term strategic partnership agreement with the United States.
As Afghanistan is very close to security transition, there are concerns that Afghan forces may not yet be able to shoulder security responsibilities on their own.
Oxfam has said in a recent report that Afghan forces have not found the potential to take lead.
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates also recently told CBS news that speedy pullout from Afghanistan would be premature. (Tolo News)