CANBERRA, Australia – Australia's prime minister said Thursday she will argue at a NATO summit that Afghanistan should take charge of its own security by 2014.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard told Parliament before heading to Lisbon for the weekend NATO summit that she will argue for two outcomes in Afghanistan.
"First, a credible and conditions-based strategy for transition to Afghan-led security by the end of 2014," Gillard said.
"Secondly, I will argue for a commitment by the international community not to abandon Afghanistan," she added.
Gillard said countries including Australia would remain engaged in Afghanistan supporting and training Afghan security forces until at least 2020.
Gillard was speaking at the end of a three-week parliamentary debate on Afghanistan during which an overwhelming majority of lawmakers spoke in support of Australia's military commitment.
Australia has the largest military commitment of any country outside NATO, with 1,550 Australian troops there.
Gillard says their mission will be completed when they have trained an Afghan National Army battalion to maintain security in Uruzgan province. That training mission is expected to take between two and four years.