NATO unveils ’strategic vision’ for Afghanistan

April 3rd, 2008 - 11:48 pm ICT by admin  

Bucharest, April 3 (DPA) NATO leaders meeting in Bucharest Thursday were set to unveil a document outlining their “strategic vision” for Afghanistan. The four-page text was expected to call on the 26 NATO members and on the 14 non-NATO countries which contribute forces to the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to maintain a “shared long-term commitment” in Afghanistan.

According to the document’s draft, the allies vow to support the Afghan leadership, bring together civilian and military efforts, and increase cooperation with Afghanistan’s neighbours, “especially Pakistan”.

The allies are also asked to ensure that they provide “maximum possible flexibility” in the use of forces by commanders on the ground ISAF and to fill remaining shortfalls.

Earlier Thursday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to send an additional battalion of 700 troops to eastern Afghanistan.

Poland and the Czech Republic are among other NATO members that have vowed to beef up ISAF’s 47,000-strong force.

The document was launched at a NATO meeting in Bucharest which was also attended by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

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