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    NATO force mandate extension to stabilize Afghanistan - Russia

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    The extension of the mandate of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan will "contribute to the process of Afghan settlement and ensure regional security and stability," the Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

    MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti) - The extension of the mandate of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan will "contribute to the process of Afghan settlement and ensure regional security and stability," the Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

    The UN Security Council has extended by one year, until October 13, 2010, the mandate of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, unanimously adopting resolution 1890 drafted by Japan.

    The ISAF, established in 2001, has about 67,000 troops in Afghanistan under a UN mandate to give security support to the Afghan government and stop the flow of drugs from the country.

    The White House said Thursday U.S. President Barack Obama has received a formal request by a U.S. top military commander to send additional troops to Afghanistan, adding that the issue could be discussed this week.

    General Stanley McChrystal, the ISAF commander, earlier asked President Barack Obama to authorize sending up to 40,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to effectively fight the Taliban.

    Violence has surged in Afghanistan, with the radical Islamic Taliban group, toppled in the 2001 U.S.-led campaign, staging regular attacks on provincial government officials, police and troops. There were over 70 attacks across the country during the August 20 presidential polls.

    On Thursday a suicide bomber blew himself up in central Kabul near the Indian Embassy, killing 18 and wounding over 80 people.

     

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