NATO talks on Afghanistan forces funding
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Nato foreign affairs and defence Ministers are meeting in Brussels on 18 and 19 April, to discuss, among other issues, how to fund security forces in Afghanistan.
The two day meeting of NATO Ministers is a preparatory gathering for the alliance's strategic Chicago summit to be held on 20 May.
Following the first session of NATO defence and foreign Ministers' meeting in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that the long-term sustainable size of the Afghan security forces will require a figure equivalent to a bill of around $4 billion a year, but he stated that there are no formal final decisions yet.
"I would urge allies and partners to commit themselves to an overall framework for financing the Afghan security forces," he said.
"NATO will pay its fair share. But a stable Afghanistan is in the interest of the whole international community, so I urge everyone to play their part," he added.
The number of the Afghan force is going to reach 352,000 this year. However, after 2014, this number will be cut to about 250,000, with a price of $4.1 billion annually. Over this cost,European allies are pressed by U.S. to pay about $1.3 billion.
Earlier this week Afghanistan’s President Karzai said that Afghanistan expects a firmer US commitment on funding.
”They are providing us money, there is no doubt about that. But they say they will not mention the amount in the agreement. We say: Give us less, but mention it in the agreement. Give us less, but write it down,” he said.