NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen vowed Sunday that the alliance would not rush out of Afghanistan despite France's decision to speed up its withdrawal. "There will be no rush for the exits. We will stay committed to our operation in Afghanistan and see it through to a successful end," Rasmussen told reporters before the start of a NATO summit aimed at cementing a 2014 withdrawal deadline. French President Francois Hollande, who took power on Tuesday, has promised to stick to a campaign pledge to pull his combat troops by the end of this year, a year earlier than his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy had decided. Rasmussen sought to downplay Hollande's decision to withdraw some 3,500 combat troops, saying he was "not surprised" by it and noting that the new French leader has offered to continue supporting Afghanistan in a different way. The Hollande plan, he insisted, is actually "very much in accordance" with NATO's plan to gradually hand over security control to Afghan forces with the goal of ending the foreign combat mission by December 31, 2014. "All that will take place in a coordinated manner and based on consultations within our aliance," Rasmussen said. "I feel confident that we will maintain solidarity within our coalition."