23:09 GMT23 February 2020
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    Canberra will send 30 Australian Defence Force (ADF) military advisers to Afghanistan within the framework of a recent NATO request to improve the capabilities of the Afghan security forces, Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On May 12, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that Canberra was considering a NATO request to expand its presence in the crisis-torn state.

    "These additional ADF members will allow Australia to commit additional advisers to further develop the long-term capabilities of the Afghan security forces as part of our current train assist mission. Their role will be to continue in the train advise and assist roles," Paine said, as quoted by the news.com.au website, adding that the Afghan mission played an important role in the struggle against terrorism and Canberra's commitment would be "both timely and appropriate."

    The Defense Minister added that Canberra's move was made in light of "broader ADF commitments" and against the backdrop of the world's changing strategic environment.

    Despite being a non-NATO state, Australia currently has 270 defense and civilian personnel in Afghanistan, providing training to local forces.

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    NATO, Malcolm Turnbull, Afghanistan, Australia
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