World Bulletin / News Desk
NATO countries agreed on Saturday to extend their military mission in Afghanistan amid continuing threats from the Taliban.
Speaking to reporters at a key summit in Warsaw, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said alliance members decided to continue their non-combat training and assistance mission into next year.
“We agreed to sustain our Resolute Support Mission beyond 2016 through a flexible, regional model,” he said.
Stoltenberg praised key NATO allies Turkey, the U.S., Germany and Italy for their continued commitment to the mission.
“I thanked President [Barack] Obama for his significant decision on troop levels. I also commended the other framework nations Germany, Italy and Turkey - and all other allies and partners that contribute to the mission - for their strong commitment to our mission,” he added.
Stoltenberg said NATO’s Resolute Support Mission will continue as a non-combat, training and advice operation to support the Afghan army.
“But the U.S., they will have a counter-terror presence in addition to the Resolute Support Mission. And they continue to work with Afghan forces also in operations directed against different terrorist groups,” he said.
Stoltenberg said that NATO would likely deploy around 12,000 soldiers in Afghanistan next year, similar to the troop level this year.