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Mission to last `as long as it takes`: NATO chief

Last Updated: Friday, August 28, 2009 - 23:11

Ankara: NATO`s mission in Afghanistan will
last "as long as it takes" to ensure that the country is
secure, the alliance`s new leader said on Friday during a visit to
the Turkish capital.

Thanks in part to an increase in the number of troops,
the mission is making a difference in the war-ravaged and
poverty stricken country, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh
Rasmussen said.
But allies still must contribute more, Fogh Rasmussen
said, adding that he had asked NATO members including Turkey
to help train Afghan soldiers and police.

"The situation is not satisfactory right now, but we have
made progress," Fogh Rasmussen told a small group of reporters
at the end of his two-day visit to Ankara.

"We will stay as long as it takes to secure the country.
We will stay committed, we will assist the Afghan people in
securing their own country, and therefore we will stay as long
as it takes."

Fogh Rasmussen, who has said NATO needs more troops in
Afghanistan if the mission is to succeed, would not be drawn
into any discussions on numbers or combat troops required,
saying he was awaiting the results of a US report.
US officials are considering whether to ask for more
troops as they prepare a report on the war in Afghanistan. A
draft assessment called for speeding up the training of Afghan
soldiers and police - a job that would require more foreign

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, August 28, 2009 - 23:11
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