NATO and the Afghan government on Saturday forged a "long-term" partnership - an agreement that will leave international forces in the war-torn country for many years after a planned military transition in 2014.
"We will stay as long as it takes to finish our job," said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO's secretary-general.
"NATO is in this for the long term. We will not transition until our Afghan partners are ready. We will stay, after transition, in a supporting role," he also said.
He and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed the pact before reporters at the Lisbon NATO summit. Along with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, they made remarks and took questions from reporters.
Meanwhile, aÂ large protest was happening Saturday in London against the war in Afghanistan, with organizers saying thousands from around the country would take part.
Demonstrators were marching from Speakers Corner in Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square, where there were planned speeches from Labour politician Tony Benn, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, two members of Parliament and others.