U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the United States and Afghanistan have reached the "last chapter" in their effort to establish a sovereign Afghanistan that can provide its own security.
The Pentagon chief on January 10 also underscored U.S. pledges to continue support for Afghanistan after the planned withdrawal of U.S. combat troops by the end of 2014.
Panetta made the remarks at the Pentagon during a welcome ceremony for Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Karzai is due to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later on January 10 and with U.S. President Barack Obama on January 11.
His visit to Washington comes as the United States and Kabul are negotiating an agreement that would govern the role of any U.S. forces sent to Afghanistan for training and support missions after 2014.
With reporting by AP and Reuters