Washington, July 7 : U. S. President Barack Obama designated Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally Friday, paving the way for the two countries for future military cooperation beyond 2014, when U. S. and NATO forces transfer security responsibilities to Kabul.
The move was announced in a memorandum released by the White House. Afghanistan is the first major non-NATO ally declared in the Obama presidency.
The decision to designate Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally was already announced to the press during Obama''s trip to Afghanistan in May, in the lead-up to the NATO summit in Chicago. According to the White House at that time, the designation would "provide a long-term framework for security and defense cooperation."
Obama and his Afghanistan counterpart Hamid Karzai signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement in May, providing the possibility of U. S. forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014. NATO later reached an agreement on the road forward in Afghanistan in Chicago.
The security bloc will lead a training and assistance mission in the country after 2014. (ANI)