US, NATO renew commitment to Afghan conflict


KABUL -- US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg renewed their commitment to Afghanistan Wednesday (September 27), AFP reported.

The two men were to hold talks with President Ashraf Ghani and other top officials to discuss the US-led NATO "train and assist" mission -- designed to strengthen Afghanistan's military so it can defend the country on its own.

At a joint news conference with Ghani, Mattis and Stoltenberg pledged the support of the US and other NATO allies in prosecuting the Afghan conflict and expressed determination to stop the country from becoming a safe haven for terrorists.

The foreign assistance will give Afghan forces a "compelling battlefield advantage over anything the Taliban stands to mass against" it, Mattis told reporters.

"We will not abandon Afghanistan to a merciless enemy trying to kill its way to power," he added.

Stoltenberg said, "The more stable Afghanistan is the more safe we will be," adding that more than 15 NATO members had agreed to send additional troops.

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