Dempsey Arrives in Poland Following Afghan Meetings
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WARSAW, Poland, Jul. 23, 2013 Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived here today following a successful trip to Afghanistan.
Army Lt. Gen. Mieczyslaw Gocul, the chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, met Dempsey at the plane.
Dempsey will meet with Polish leaders today and will visit with American airmen training with Poland's armed forces tomorrow.
The chairman presented Gocul with a photo taken yesterday, when he met with Polish members of the International Security Assistance Force in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
In Kabul, Dempsey met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, with whom he discussed the bilateral security agreement between the United States and Afghanistan. The talks were productive, with the Afghan president’s office issuing a statement following the meeting. “Afghans are ready to sign a security pact with the U.S., on the condition that it leads to peace and stability in the country, the strengthening of Afghan forces, and a united and sovereign Afghanistan,” the statement said.
Karzai had broken off talks with the United States on the issue.
Dempsey told a media roundtable at ISAF headquarters that he would like to see the pact signed before October. NATO and partner nations then will negotiate a similar pact with the Afghans. The agreement will govern how the U.S. operates in Afghanistan once the ISAF mandate expires at the end of 2014.
The follow-on agreement would continue the development of Afghan security forces. Dempsey called those forces “the best guarantor of future security in Afghanistan.”
NATO has named the follow-on operation Resolute Support.