NATO postpones conference on forces for Afghanistan: spokesman

10:33, November 19, 2009      

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NATO has delayed a meeting on boosting forces for Afghanistan to take all developments into account, including U.S. President Barack Obama's decision on his new strategy.

NATO spokesman James Appathurai said on Wednesday at a press briefing that the force generation conference, which is expected on Nov. 23, will take place in two parts. The Nov. 23 meeting will go ahead and focus on NATO's missions except Afghanistan, while the conference concerning Afghanistan will be held in December.

The spokesman gave no specific date, but said it will be held after the meeting of NATO's foreign ministers on Dec. 2-3.

He also said that he was confident "before the force generation meeting, the United States will make its announcement, not only on troop levels, but very much in a broader context on approach and strategy."

NATO holds force generation conferences regularly to fulfill the requirements of NATO missions and operations.

Appathurai also said that NATO has established the training mission in Afghanistan that was agreed at the Strasbough-Kehl summit in April this year.

NATO Secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen "attaches great importance to the NATO training mission as a very important mechanism for supporting or creating conditions in which transition to Afghan lead can move forward," he said.

However, he urged a "realistic" attitude toward the transition in Afghanistan and said it would be a long way before Afghan security forces could stand on their own feet and play a leading role.

Source: Xinhua
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