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NATO touts Afghan army as U.S. weighs troop withdrawal

KABUL: Amid speculations doing the rounds vis-à-vis a possible U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, NATOhas touted resilience of Afghan army and police in ensuring security for the past four years.

“We have seen the reports. For any comments, I refer you to the US authorities. In general, let me remind you that the Afghan army and police have been fully in charge of the security of Afghanistan for over four years,” NATO alliance spokesperson Oana Lungescu said in an exclusive interview.

These remarks come amid US President Donald Trump’s announcement of withdrawing nearly 7,000 American troops from the country within months.

Lungescu said that Afghan forces are a brave, committed and an increasingly capable force, which have ensured the security of the parliamentary elections earlier this year. NATO leads a coalition of 41 nations in our Resolute Support Mission. Our aim is to train, advice and assist the Afghan forces, as they create the conditions for peace, she said.

At the NATO Summit in July, Allied leaders also agreed to extend funding for the Afghan security forces until 2024. Earlier this month, NATO Foreign Ministers expressed steadfast commitment to ensuring long-term security and stability in Afghanistan, the NATO Spokesperson said. 

“Our engagement is important to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for international terrorists who could threaten us at home,” she added.

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