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NATO to hold emergency meeting to discuss situation in Afghanistan

NATO has been leading international security efforts in Afghanistan since 2003 but wound-up combat operations in 2014 to focus on training the national security forces.

Published: 18th August 2021 10:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2021 10:06 PM   |  A+A-

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

BRUSSELS: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says he will chair an emergency meeting of foreign ministers from the 30-nation military alliance on Friday to discuss developments in Afghanistan.

Stoltenberg tweeted on Wednesday that he has convened the videoconference "to continue our close coordination and discuss our common approach on Afghanistan."

On Tuesday, Stoltenberg blamed a failure of Afghan leadership for the swift collapse of the country's Western-backed armed forces, but he conceded that NATO must also address flaws in its military training program.

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NATO has been leading international security efforts in Afghanistan since 2003 but wound-up combat operations in 2014 to focus on training the national security forces.

NATO helped build up an army some 300,000 strong, but that force withered in the face of the Taliban offensive in just days.

Stoltenberg says that around 800 civilian personnel from NATO countries continue to work in Afghanistan, many in Kabul helping with air traffic control, refueling and communications at the airport.

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