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NATO assuages Afghan neighbours' concerns

NATO assuages Afghan neighbours' concerns

Nov 22, 2011 - 17:33

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The presence o fNATO  troops posed no threat to Afghanistaninfo-icon's neighbours, said NATOinfo-icon-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAFinfo-icon) officials on Tuesday.

ISAF trops had come to Afghanistan in response to an invitation from the Afghan government and the decision of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the NATO civilian representative spokesman said.

Dominic Medley told a joint press conference with ISAF spokesman Carsten Jacobson in Kabul: "NATO has always insisted that neighbouring countries need not to worry about the presence of NATO soldiers in Afghanistan."

Most of the 49 countries of the ISAF had close ties with Afghanistan's neighbours, he said, referring to President Hamid Karzai's statement that the strategic cooperation pact with the US would have no impact on regional states.

He added the Bonn Conference, to be held in Germany on December 5, would bring NATO, the international community and Afghanistan ever closer.

Among other issues, the conference would also confer on the progress made in Afghanistan over the past decade, Medley said. "It will look forward to a strong partnership in the future."

On Nov. 20, 2010, he recalled, the alliance signed a long-term Enduring Partnership that marked a new phase in its mission in Afghanistan.

Jacobson, in response to a recommendation of the recently-concluded Loya Jirgainfo-icon that night raids be Afghanised, said 95 percent of the operations were being carried out in coordination with Afghan troops.

Maintaining security for the Loya Jirga proved that Afghan forces had considerably improved and were able to take the security responsibility for most parts of the country.

On the second Bonn conference, Jacobson said the meeting would give a political response to agreements about Afghanistan.


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