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NATO discuss Afghanistan financing

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 - 01:32

April 18 - NATO defence and foreign affairs ministers meet in Brussels to discuss their financial commitment to Afghanistan after foreign troops withdraw in 2014. Simon Hanna reports.

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NATO defence and foreign ministers arrive for a scheduled two-day meeting in Brussels on Afghanistan just days after an 18-hour insurgent attack on Kabul's diplomatic area. Member countries were seeking to narrow their differences on how to fund the war-torn country after foreign troops withdraw at the end of 2014. Sunday's attack highlighted NATO's lack of progress on bringing security to Afghanistan - and cast doubt on the Afghan forces' readiness to take over. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stressed the importance of continued financial support. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NATO SECRETARY GENERAL ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN: "We will continue to support the Afghan security forces also beyond 2014. We will continue a training mission and we will support financially. We must make sure we maintain the gains made with so much investment in lives and resources. " No final decision has yet been made as regards to the size, structure and cost of the Afghan security forces in the long term, although a figure of around 4 billion dollars-a-year had been mentioned. With Western budgets tight at a time of economic downturn and austerity, finding financial commitments may prove tough. Wednesday's meeting was in preparation for May's Chicago summit, where the finances needed in Afghanistan should be outlined. Simon Hanna, Reuters

NATO discuss Afghanistan financing

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 - 01:32

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