BRUSSELS, June 15 (Sputnik) – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday that he expected the upcoming NATO summit to result in prolonging financing for the Afghan security forces till 2024.
“Our training mission in Afghanistan is another key contribution to the fight against international terrorism. And I expect that we will agree at the Summit to extend funding for the Afghan forces to 2024, to support them as they create the conditions for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan,” Stoltenberg told reporters at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Stoltenberg and Merkel held talks earlier in the day in Berlin ahead of the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels, scheduled for July 11-12.
The United States launched an anti-terrorist military operation in Afghanistan in 2001, with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) contingent later deployed in the country after the UN Security Council authorized the move.
NATO withdrew its military contingent from Afghanistan in 2014, replacing it with a non-military Resolute Support mission. Its objective is to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in preserving peace and stability in the country.
In August 2017, US President Donald Trump announced a new Afghanistan strategy, in which he pledged to continue US support for the Afghan government and military. Trump also said the mandate of US troops to target terrorists in Afghanistan would be expanded and approved sending an additional 4,000 troops to the country.