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London to host 2014 NATO summit

Sept. 27, 2013 at 9:46 AM

LONDON, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron said hosting next year's NATO summit would be an opportunity to gauge the future direction of the alliance.

Cameron announced Friday his county would play host to next year's NATO summit, the first time since former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher welcomed member states in 1990 as the Cold War waned. The date and venue will be announced at a later date.

The summit, Cameron said in a statement, "will be another important milestone in the history of the alliance."

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the 2014 summit would establish the alliance as an entity that's ready to deal with "any" security threat to its members.

"The summit will be an opportunity to mark the conclusion of our ISAF mission at the end of next year, while opening a new chapter in NATO's engagement with Afghanistan," he said in a statement.

NATO forces are beginning to evolve from a fighting force in Afghanistan to an adviser as national forces take on more security responsibility in the country.

A mid-September report from the British Foreign Ministry said Afghan force capabilities "are not yet fully developed or completely sustainable."

The U.S.-led operation in Afghanistan began in 2001 as a response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

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