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NATO Prepares Plans for Election Support Post-2014 Presence

Chairman of the Military Committee General Knud Bartels has said the organization is in discussions with the Afghan government regarding security support for the upcoming elections during a senior NATO leadership meeting about plans for the drawdown and a continued role in Afghanistan post-2014.

The gathering marked the 170th Summit of NATO Joint Chiefs of Staff in Brussels. Amongst other things, the top alliance leaders discussed and voted internally on the schematics and logistics of plans for an ongoing military partnership with Afghanistan.

"NATO is currently working with the Afghan authorities to establish the legal framework of the Resolute Support Mission and as such we will continue to develop our plans so that we are ready to deliver when required," General Bartels said.

"Today, we will therefore take stock of our planning and preparation for the delivery on the Train Advise and Assist Mission after 2014, to support the continuing development of credible, capable and sustainable Afghan Security forces."

General Bartels emphasized the potential for cooperation in Afghanistan with Moscow post-2014, and indicated talks would be organized with the Russia government. A new agreement to purchase Russian-made helicopters for the Afghan forces was mentioned as well.

NATO has decided to sign a security pact with Kabul, and after the meeting in Brussels the priorities from NATO's perspective are likely settled.

However, top NATO leaders have said explicitly that no deal will be finalized until the stalled Kabul-Washington Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) is signed.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014, TOLO News

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