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NATO to maintain 12,000 troops in Afghanistan in 2016

NATO soldiers stand near a damaged NATO military vehicle at the

NATO on Tuesday agreed to maintain the current 12,000 troops in Afghanistan through 2016.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared at a press conference: “We agreed to sustain the presence of our Resolute Support Mission, including in the regions of Afghanistan, during 2016. This will be approximately 12,000 troops,” Xinhua reported.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force completed its combat mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, after 13 years of military presence in the country.

The Resolute Support Mission is a new NATO-led mission launched on January 1 to provide further training, advice and assistance for the Afghan security forces and institutions, with approximately 12, 000 personnel from NATO allies and partner countries.

NATO also discussed to fund the Afghan forces with the international community. “We made a decision several years ago to fund the Afghan national security forces until 2017 and now we are aiming at making a new decision at our Summit in Warsaw to fund Afghan national security forces until 2020,” said Stoltenberg.

He added that NATO will further develop the enduring partnership with Afghanistan. “In that respect, we also reaffirmed our commitment to establish a civilian-led presence that will follow after our Resolute Support Mission,” said he.

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