I welcome President Karzai’s announcement today of the third tranche of areas to transition to Afghan security lead, which is an important step forward in our effort to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan. As transition proceeds in these areas, nearly 75 percent of the population of Afghanistan will be living in provinces, districts and villages where Afghan forces are leading. The Afghan National Security Forces are strengthening their capacity as we remain on track to meet our goal of having the Afghan government fully responsible for security across the country by the end of 2014. A week from now, world leaders will gather at the NATO Summit in Chicago to discuss how we can effectively advance the transition process as our forces move from combat to a support role, and demonstrate our enduring support for the Afghan Government and Afghan National Security Forces. I look forward to meeting with President Karzai and my fellow leaders in Chicago to discuss these critical steps that will strengthen Afghan sovereignty while responsibly winding down the war.