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Final decision on Afghan buildup next month: NATO

Final decision on Afghan buildup next month: NATO

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May 24, 2017 - 19:28

BRUSSELS (Pajhwok): NATOinfo-icon secretary general Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday said the security situation in Afghanistaninfo-icon remained challenging and the alliance was currently in the process of force generation.

“I expect final decisions to be taken next month,” Stoltenberg told a press conference in Brussels on the eve of NATO leaders’ summit.

NATO leaders, including US President Donald Trump, are going to Brussels for a summit meeting on Thursday.

The allies will likely push for consensus on the need to fight terrorism after Monday's attack in Britain.

“It was a barbaric attack,” the NATO chief told reporters.

About Afghanistan, he said they had recently completed their regular review of the training mission.

“Our military commanders have asked for a few thousand more troops. We are currently in the process of force generation and I expect final decisions to be taken next month.”

He said nearly 13,000 troops from NATO and partner countries contributed to the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.

“Training the Afghan forces to secure their country and deny safe haven to international terrorists,” he said.

He said other major topics of the meeting were burden sharing and meeting a 2014 pledge to stop the cuts, gradually increase and move towards spending two percent of GDP on defence within a decade.

“We have also transformed our approach to fighting terrorism. In Afghanistan, we have moved from a combat role to a training role. This has shown us the value of supporting local forces in their fight against terrorism.”

The day-long summit is bringing together heads of state and government in Brussels from all the 28 allied countries. “It will send a strong message of unity and solidarity.”

About the attack in Manchester, the NATO chief said children, young people and their families were deliberately targeted in the barbaric attack.

“Our meeting will show that all NATO allies remain united in the fight against terrorism in all its forms.”

He said countering terrorism was a complex challenge and it requires a coordinated response.

“From our law enforcement agencies, our intelligence services, our judicial systems, and sometimes our military. So it is important that we use all the tools that we have to the full.”

nh/ma

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