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NATO extends mission, pledges troop surge

NATO extends mission, pledges troop surge

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Jul 01, 2017 - 12:53

BRUSSELS (Pajhwok): The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATOinfo-icon) besides has pledged deploying more troops and extending its mission to train and assist Afghan forces beyond 2017.

After a meeting of defence ministers, NATO Secretary General Gen. Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance commander, military and civilian representative in Afghanistaninfo-icon, European Union (EU) officials and Afghanistan's acting defence minister were in attendance.

He said the defence ministers discussed a wide range of issues, ranging from the mission in Afghanistan to full-spectrum deterrence, from fighting terrorism to cyber defence. 

Ahead of the summit, the secretary general said 15 nations had already pledged additional contributions to Resolute Support Mission and that he looked forward to further announcements from other countries.

Stoltenberg did confirm sending thousands of more troops to Afghanistan after the meeting. However, he did not clearly say how many more troops would be sent.

Last month, he recalled, NATO’s heads of state and government agreed to augment their role in the fight against terrorism and to improve burden-sharing across the alliance.

In response to a question from Pajhwok, the secretary-general said NATO had ended its combat operation in Afghanistan. The NATO soldiers were helping the Afghans fight and take full responsibility for the security in their country.

"We see a need for some more effort and some more support from NATO to the Afghans, especially in three areas; strengthening their special operations forces.

"We have seen the Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan have been very professional and important in the fight against the Taliban and we are now working on how we can further strengthen them." he added.

nh/mud

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