NATO summit kicks off with tribute to armed forces in Afghanistan as NATO chief says, ''We have done what we pledged to do'' in Afghanistan. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
--PART QUALITY AS INCOMING -- Opening day at the NATO summit in Wales. The Alliance pays tribute to the armed services of all International Security Assistance Force nations who have fought in Afghanistan. NATO needs a new Afghan president in place to sign an agreement on continued cooperation. Otherwise, it likely will have to withdraw all its forces this year and abandon plans for a training mission for the Afghan forces as they battle Taliban insurgents. Outgoing NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN SAYING: "We have done what we pledged to do. We have dealt a blow against international terrorism in Afghanistan and we have built up capable Afghan forces of 350,000 troops and police. For over a year (CUT TO AFGHAN DEFENSE MINISTER BISMILLAH KHAN MOHAMMADI) these forces have been in the lead for security across the country. And by the end of this year, (CUT BACK TO RASMUSSEN) Afghan security will be fully in their hands." The NATO summit comes as violence rages in Afghanistan. On Thursday, at least 18 people were killed when Taliban insurgents detonated two truck bombs outside a spy agency office in the center of the country. Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates, sent a message to NATO saying that they will do their utmost to reach a political agreement that would end the crisis over disputed elections.