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NATO chief asks change of approach in Afghanistan

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called on Thursday for a change of approach in Afghanistan, where international forces are bogged down fighting a Taliban-led insurgency.

world Updated: Sep 24, 2009 23:10 IST

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called on Thursday for a change of approach in Afghanistan, where international forces are bogged down fighting a Taliban-led insurgency.

"We need to do more in Afghanistan, but not just more of the same. We have to change. We have to transfer responsibility to the Afghans themselves," he said, in a video recorded in New York and posted on his website.

Rasmussen said the key was to beef up the Afghan army and police so that they could more quickly take over security tasks from the NATO-led force in Afghanistan.

"We need to transfer lead responsibility for security in Afghanistan to the Afghans themselves and therefore we should further develop the capacity of the Afghan security forces," he said.

He added "We need more trainers, we need money, to finance and increase the number of Afghan security forces."

Echoing the assessment of NATO's top commander in Afghanistan, Rasmussen also said it was important to focus on protecting the people there and to ensure that they had a credible government.

"We need a credible and accountable government in Kabul. We need a government that steps up the fight against corruption. We need a government that delivers basic services to the Afghan people," he said.

The credibility of government has suffered following fraud-tainted presidential and provincial elections on Aug 20.