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Shadow Foreign Secretary Yvette Cooper said:

"We strongly support the Afghan forces taking the lead in 2014.

"But it's important that work is done to ensure that date is achievable, which means increased efforts in political reconciliation and more inclusive Afghan security forces and local government.

"We will also be pressing the UK Government to ensure that British troops who remain in Afghanistan in a training role have the right security conditions to do their job. The safety of our forces must be paramount."

Shadow Defence Secretary, Jim Murphy said:

“Rather than argue about a date which has been set,we obviously support the aim of Afghan Security Forces taking the lead in 2014, we now need to see a plan for progress to improve conditions on the ground.

“Nato must set out detailed plans to train and develop Afghan security forces as it is they who will have responsibility for the country when we leave.

"Security must be driven by a corruption-free and accountable Afghan Government; economic activity must be increased through an economic plan; and we need real progress on a political settlement.

“Long-term security is crucial to ensure Afghanistan can never again be an incubator for extremism and the Afghan people can enjoy freedom and democracy, but also to guarantee protection for any non-combat residual British forces in training and mentoring roles.

”On the announced ‘missile shield pact’ and challenges facing the Alliance, Jim Murphy said:

“This is a vital summit for the future of Nato and I in particular welcome the new phase of co-operation with Russia.

“The Nato-wide missile defence system will increase protection for all Alliance members and ensure collective action on shared threats.

“The key challenge for Nato in Lisbon is to define its purpose in a 21st century security landscape and outline how it will be as important in our children’s lifetimes as it was in our parents’.”

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