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UN extends NATO force in Afghanistan for a year

The Security Council voted unanimously to extend UN authorisation for NATO's 70,000-strong force in Afghanistan for a year, underlining the importance of protecting civilians at a time when the US and international commitment to the war is under review.

world Updated: Oct 09, 2009 08:18 IST

The Security Council voted unanimously to extend UN authorisation for NATO's 70,000-strong force in Afghanistan for a year, underlining the importance of protecting civilians at a time when the US and international commitment to the war is under review.

Britain's UN Ambassador John Sawers said the resolution's adoption by all 15 council members "underlines the extent of international support for the international effort there."

The resolution calls for more personnel, equipment and other resources for NATO's International Security Assistance Force. But it makes no mention of the debate-taking place in some NATO capitals on whether to increase or reduce the force.

The Security Council also did not address the debate in Washington on whether to add up to 40,000 additional US troops.

President Barack Obama is weighing recommendations and is expected to make a decision within weeks.

The United States has 65,000 troops in Afghanistan approximately 31,000 serving with NATO and 34,000 under US command.

"I think there is an important debate going on in Washington, and indeed there is an important debate going on in a number of capitals as to exactly how best to achieve our collective goal in Afghanistan which is to ensure that Afghanistan can no longer be used as a base of terrorists," Sawers said.