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U.S. will look to continue funding key Afghan military capabilities - Austin

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin looks on during a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, following a meeting after U.S. announced the withdrawal of all its troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, at NATO's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium April 14, 2021. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Pool

(Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Wednesday that the United States will look to continue funding key Afghan security forces capabilities, even as Washington withdraws its military forces from the country.

Speaking in Brussels, Austin said those capabilities would include the Afghan Air Force and seeking to continue paying the salaries of Afghan security forces.

Asked if U.S. military leaders agreed with the decision to withdraw, Austin said: “I can tell you this was an inclusive process, and their voices were heard and their concerns taken into consideration as the president made his decision.”

Reporting by Robin Emmott, Idrees Ali, Humeyra Pamuk and Daphne Psaledakisd; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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