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NATO Leaders To Discuss Paying For Afghan Army After Withdrawal

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Obama On NATO Summit

President Barack Obama at the NATO Summit Monday. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATE 05.19/12 12:12 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — The second day of intense talks is in progress at the NATO Summit, and the major focus remains how to deal with the war in Afghanistan.

As CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports, President Barack Obama is laying out the objectives for discussions on Afghanistan that are continuing Monday.

A parade of world leaders entered the conference room at McCormick Place Monday morning before the meeting got underway.

At center stage was Afghan President Hamid Karzai. His nation, and NATO’s presence there, was the sole topic of the almost three-hour meeting Monday morning.

President Obama is hoping to solidify the NATO coalition in his goal to get the Alliance forces out of Afghanistan, but not until 2014.

“Today, we’ll decide the next phase of the transition; the next milestone. We’ll set a goal for Afghan forces to take the lead for combat operations across the country in 2013, next year, so that ISAF can move to a supporting role,” Obama said.

ISAF is the International Security Alliance Force, the NATO coalition force in Afghanistan.

Still, the thorny question remains of how to pay for the Afghan army after NATO leaves. NATO would like to raise about $4 billion, with the United States paying about half of it.

But so far, the other NATO nations haven’t really committed much cash.

The issue will be the subject of discussion during the summit Monday.

On a lighter note, Obama welcomed the NATO delegates Monday morning by joking that he he’d heard they’d had quite a bit of fun out on the town in Chicago Sunday night, but he hoped there would be no news stories about it.

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