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Norway responds to Nato request for Afghanistan troops

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Norway responds to Nato request for Afghanistan troops
Norwegian Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix
18:51 CEST+02:00
Norway will send ten extra soldiers to Afghanistan as it responds to calls by Nato and Donald Trump for more troops in the central Asian country.

The decision comes in the same week Nato General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg met US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Kabul.

Norway's Ministry of Defence confirmed to the Aftenposten newspaper that the increased Norwegian contribution is a reponse to calls by the United States, United Kingdom and Nato for allies to review their current contributions to the military effort in Afghanistan.

In June this year, the Norwegian government decided to continue Norway's contribution to Nato's Resolute Support Mission.

The Norwegian contingent currently totals 50 soldiers who will be in Afghanistan until the end of 2018, writes Aftenposten.

On Thursday, the government confirmed its decision to add to this group by a further ten personnel, who will form part of a special soldier unit in the capital Kabul, reports the newspaper.

“The security situation in Afghanistan is under threat. The establishment of IS [Islamic State, ed.] in the country in recent years has increased both its seriousness and complexity. Nato and the United States' decisions to increase their military presence in the country confirms the need for continued support for the Afghan forces,” Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide wrote in a Ministry of Defence press release.

During a press conference with Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, both Stoltenberg and Mattis pledged their continued support for the country's military.

“Support from abroad has given the Afghan forces an overwhelming advantage on the battlefield,” Mattis said according to Aftenposten's report.

Stoltenberg said that 15 Nato countries had agreed to contribute with more manpower to the fight against the Taliban.

READ ALSO: US will ‘moderate commitment' to Nato if allies don't spend more. Can Norway hit the goal?

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