NATO to increase mission in Afghanistan by 3,000 troops

NATO to increase mission in Afghanistan by 3,000 troops

Brussels: NATO ( North Atlantic Treaty Organization) will increase its training mission in Afghanistan from 13,000 to 16,000 troops, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.

Underlining that Afghanistan's security situation remained "very challenging", Stoltenberg said NATO would increase its support for Afghanistan as part of its Resolute Support Mission.

Around 13,000 troops from 39 NATO and partner countries are in Afghanistan, training the Afghan forces within the framework of a NATO-led mission.

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During the ministerial meeting, the US gave a briefing on its new South Asia strategy, under which its troop numbers in Afghanistan have increased. The NATO chief said 27 other nations have also agreed to increase their troop numbers in the coming months, Xinhua news agency reported.

Ministers from NATO allied countries and partners also confirmed they would continue to fund the Afghan security forces until at least 2020.

In addition to the financial support from the US, "other NATO allies and partners will continue to provide almost a billion US dollars each year to the Afghan defence and security forces," added Stoltenberg.

The ministers were joined by Afghanistan's Acting Defence Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami.

The Resolute Support Mission is a NATO-led mission launched in January 2015 to provide training, advice and assistance to Afghan security forces and institutions.