Gass promises continued NATO assistance
LASHKARGAH (PAN): NATO's senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, Ambassador Simon Gass, on Thursday said the alliance would continue to cooperate with Afghanistan in both civilian and military affairs beyond 2014, when foreign troops are scheduled to withdraw from the country.
Gass was addressing reporters during a visit to Lashkargah, the capital of southern Helmand province.
The governor's office said Gass arrived with a delegation and held talks with the governor, Mohammad Gulab Mangal.
After his meeting with Mangal, Gass said the purpose of his visit to Helmand was to assess the security situation.
He said the security situation had improved that in particular there had been a remarkable improvement in the capacity of local forces.
He said that though Afghan forces were able to take over security responsibility on their own, NATO would continue to assist them.
In addition to fighting the insurgency, Gass said NATO’s priority was to strengthen Afghan forces.
For his part, the governor said he had spoken to Gass about the security transition plan and preparations for it.
Mangal said Gass had promised that NATO would convert most of its assistance to development projects as foreign troops depart.
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