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Nov 08, 2017
NATO to send 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan
Nov 07, 2017 - 19:44
Speaking in Brussels on the eve of the military’s alliance defense ministerial meeting, Stoltenberg said half of the fresh troops would come from the United States.
He said currently 13,000 troops operated in Afghanistan under NATO command and the new level would be around 16,000.
He said the troops won’t conduct combat operations but help to train and assist the Afghan security forces, notably to train special forces and build up the country’s air force.
About the defense ministerial meeting, the NATO chief said future strategies, NATO command structure, Afghanistan and global threat were part of the agenda.
He added NATO would review the Resolute Support (RS) mission in Afghanistan together with its partners.
“We will be joined by Afghanistan acting defence minister who will brief on the security situation and the progress his government is making on essential reforms,” he said.
“Our many other allies and partners will send more troops in the months to come to support Afghanistan efforts against international terrorism, peace and reconciliation.”
Hailing the Afghan security forces, he said they shown bravery, determination and increasing capability. The Afghan people continued to show remarkable resilience and hope for peace.
When asked about Pakistan cooperation in the war on terror the secretary general said NATO was in regular contact with Pakistanis in different ways.
The alliance’s director for international military staff has recently visited Islamabad and NATO commander have been in contact with their Pakistani counterparts, he added.
He said the Taliban and other insurgent groups have been active out of their bases in Pakistan and they had raised the issue several times. “And it is important that all regional countries should support the Afghan government efforts for peace and make sure that no country provided any kind of sanctuary to terrorists.”
When asked about increasing attacks on media, he said this morning attack on media office (Shamshad TV) was yet another example of targeting innocent civilians.
He said the additional NATO support will help Afghanistan break the stalemate in the ongoing conflict and send a clear message to the Taliban that they will not win in the battle ground.
“The only way for the Taliban will be to set to the negotiation table. The reason why NATO supports Afghan security forces is to enable a political settlement in that country.”
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