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NATO, Afghan leaders say they are ready to move to new phase

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BRUSSELS — Leaders of Afghanistan and NATO say they are ready to move to a new phase in their relations — the end of NATO-led combat operations in the violence-torn country effective Jan. 1.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah arrived at NATO headquarters on Monday for talks with alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Abdullah said that following the signature by Ghani on Sunday of a status of forces agreement with NATO, the "legal framework is now fully in place" for the U.S. and other alliance member nations to shift in 2015 to a mission of training, advising and assisting Afghanistan's security forces.

Foreign ministers of the 28 NATO member countries are scheduled to meet Tuesday in Brussels. They are expected to approve the new Afghan mission, named Resolute Support.

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