LONDON - Delegates from over 50 countries gathered in London Thursday for an international conference on Afghanistan, seeking to discuss the country's future after US -led coalition forces withdraw.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, British Prime Minister David Cameron, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and many other senior leaders are set to attend the London conference, co-hosted by the British and Afghan governments.
The conference aims to "provide a platform for the government of Afghanistan to set out its vision for reform and for the international community to demonstrate enduring solidarity and support for Afghanistan," according to the British Foreign Office.
"We meet at a time when Afghanistan is entering a new chapter in its history, the start of a Transformation Decade, where it will take the lead in managing its own development and security," British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in his opening remarks at the conference.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and chief executive officer Abdullah Abdullah are expected to outline their reform plans and policy priorities for Afghanistan's long-term development.
The conference came amid a surge of Taliban-led attacks in Afghanistan. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is scheduled to end their combat mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, after 13 years of military presence in the country.