NATO outlines long-term engagement in Afghanistan

NATO outlines long-term engagement in Afghanistan

39Cardiff, Sep 5 (IANS) Western leaders meeting for a NATO summit in Wales Thursday outlined the long-term engagement in Afghanistan after the end of the NATO-led combat mission in the country later this year.

Leaders from 28 NATO nations joined by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) partner countries agreed to launch a non-combat mission in Afghanistan after 2014 to help train, advice and assist Afghan security forces, Xinhua reported.

“The NATO-led ISAF in Afghanistan will conclude at the end of 2014 as planned. For over a year, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have been in the lead for combat operations throughout the country,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

A surge in terror attacks has been witnessed in the country since mid-May when the Taliban launched a rebel offensive against Afghan security forces and NATO-led troops stationed in the country since 2003.

“With the end of ISAF in December, we will change the nature and the scope of our involvement in Afghanistan,” said Rasmussen.

The Taliban insurgent group has launched several massive attacks over the past months to gain land as the Afghan forces are struggling to take over the security responsibilities from NATO-led troops by the end of this year.

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