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No decision about troops reduction in Afghanistan: Khalid

AT News Report

KABUL: Acting Defense Minister Assadullah Khalid at the NATO HQ Brussels on Friday has said that NATO members have not made any decision regarding reduction of troops from Afghanistan.

Gen. Scott Miller, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan has earlier said over the past year the number of US troops had decreased by 2,000, which Miller called “optimizing” the force.

Khalid said NATO is committed to help the Afghan security forces. “NATO members have praised ability of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in the fight against insurgents.”  

According to Khalid, military operations of ANDSF would continue to suppress the Taliban insurgents in different parts of the country. “Anti-insurgent operations will continue until peace to be prevailed.”

NBC, citing three current and former US defense officials, recently reported that the United States was drawing up plans for an abrupt withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan, although there is currently no White House directive to do so.

However, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that despite “the ups and downs” of troop numbers, NATO was committed to its Afghan mission.

In a press conference on Friday, Stoltenberg said NATO’s support to Afghanistan with both forces and funding remains “steadfast”.

“Our support to Afghanistan with both forces and funding remains steadfast. NATO has supported the US-led peace talks, and we would welcome if they were resumed but the Taliban have to make real concessions and show real willingness to reduce violence,” Stoltenberg said.

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