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NATO extends mission, vows troop surge in Afghanistan

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AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The NATO member countries have taken a formal decision, based on extension of its mission and deployment of additional troops in Afghanistan in a bid to train and assist Afghan forces beyond 2017.

Following the meeting of defense ministers, NATO Secretary General Gen. Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance commanders, civilian and military representatives in Afghanistan, European Union (EU) officials and acting defense minister of Afghanistan were attended the meeting held at Brussels.

He said the participants of the meeting had discussed issues of wide range, composed of NATO mission in Afghanistan and its full-spectrum deterrence, fighting terrorism and cyber defense.

Prior to the summit, the General Gen. Jens Stoltenberg has said that 15 among the NATO member countries have already made a solemn promised for additional contributions to Resolute Support Mission, adding he is looking forward towards further announcements from the rest of NATO member countries.

Stoltenberg confirmed deployment thousands of more troops to Afghanistan but however, he did not clearly mention how many more troops would be sent.

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

In response to a query 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.