President Barack Obama held a press conference during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Chicago.

The much-discussed topic at NATO this year is the U.S. and NATO presence in Afghanistan, and the summit has attracted massive protests advocating an end to the Afghanistan war and action on climate change. Nearly 50 veterans returned their "War on Terror" medals by throwing them over a fence erected by the Secret Service to mimic a Vietnam War-era anti-war protest.

NATO leaders also agreed earlier in the day Monday to hand over security to Afghan forces by mid-2013 in anticipation of a full NATO withdrawal from the country by 2014.

"Our nations and the world have a vital interest in the success of this mission and I'm confident…that we can advance that goal and responsibly bring this war to an end," Obama said to NATO leaders.

Watch the press conference live, broadcast on MSNBC, scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.

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[President Barack Obama (right) with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen via Secretary of Defense / Flickr]