UN security council extends NATO mandate in Afghanistan
The U.N. Security Council extended the mandate of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan for a further year and called on countries to boost U.S.-led invasiton.
The U.N. Security Council on Thursday extended the mandate of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan for a further year and called on countries to boost U.S.-led invasiton and ongoing attacks against fighters og toppled Afghan administration Taliban.
The International Security Assistance Force is not a U.N. operation but was set up by the Security Council at the end of 2001 and is authorized by annual council resolutions.
ISAF, which numbers 67,700 troops from 42 nations according to latest NATO figures, accounts for some two-thirds of the foreign troops in Afghanistan.
Thursday's resolution extended ISAF's authorization for 12 months from next Tuesday.
While the renewal was routine, it came amid a heated debate in Washington over whether to send more troops to Afghanistan, and popular pressure in some other contributing nations to pull out their soldiers.
Ambassador John Sawers of Britain, which has 9,000 soldiers in ISAF, denied that the resolution specifically called on countries to increase troop levels but said it urged "that efforts should be sustained and that we should have the forces there necessary to deliver on the tasks."
The United Nations said in February that a record 2,118 civilians were killed during US occupation in Afghanistan in 2008.
US-led occupation has raised violence in Afghanistan, has angered residents and increased pressure on Hamid Karzai, the country's president.
Reuters Last Mod: 09 Ekim 2009, 09:00