NATO extends troop deployment in Afghanistan beyond 2016

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BRUSSELS

NATO foreign ministers agreed Tuesday to extend the deployment of 12,000 troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016 and provide at least $3 billion in funding to Afghan security forces until 2020.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned that NATO presence in Afghanistan was important in order to stop the country from becoming “a safe haven for international terrorists”.

“We are in Afghanistan to support ourselves,” Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels following a meeting between NATO foreign ministers Tuesday. “If Afghanistan becomes safe haven for international terrorists that will also be threat to us.”

“We are working with Afghans to improve and enhance shared security, that is why we are continuing to fund them,” Stoltenberg said.

“We [NATO foreign ministers] met today and jointly reaffirmed our enduring commitment to enhance security, and to promote peace, development, human rights, and the rule of law in Afghanistan,” the NATO foreign ministers said in a joint statement Tuesday.

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