It will be a new mission and a new role for NATO,” said Rasmussen. “And together with the rest of the international community, we will play our part and pay our share in sustaining Afghan security forces at the right level in the years to come.
“We would welcome financial contributions from Russia, China and other countries to ensure a strong sustainable Afghan security force beyond 2014,” S ecretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a news conference in Brussels, where NATO foreign and defence ministers were meeting to prepare for a summit next month in Chicago.
BRUSSELS, April 19 (Reuters) – The head of NATO called onChina and Russia on Thursday to help fund Afghan security after2014, as the alliance tries to rally contributions from a widerrange of sources before most foreign combat troops pull out ofAfghanistan.
The United States and NATO, keen to douse fears Afghanistan could face renewed civil war when foreign troops pull out, want to use the summit to demonstrate a long term commitment to Afghan stability that will endure well after 2014.
Harlan is believed to have left Afghanistan around the same period, eventually returning to the United States.
China has significant economic stakes in Afghanistan and is also a close ally of neighbouring Pakistan, making it potentially a strong partner in helping to foster stability.
With the world’s biggest foreign exchange reserves, it is also better placed than many western countries struggling with economic downturn to help pay for stability in Afghanistan.
Analysts have suggested, however, that China would be wary of becoming too sucked in to problems in Afghanistan, and would not want to be seen to taking sides if this were to make it a target for Islamist militants.
It was when the British Indian army invaded Afghanistan, during the First Anglo Afghan War when Afghan kings Shuja Shah Durrani and Dost Mohammad Khan were fighting for the throne of the Durrani Empire.
“The Chinese officials we have asked about financing Afghan security forces have been sceptical, saying they’d rather provide support on the civilian and economic side,” said Andrew Small at The German Marshall Fund of the United States.
On Thursday, NATO ministers met Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, and tried to narrow differences with Russia over Syria, Afghanistan and missile defence – all areas where NATO allies would like Russian support to promote stability.
Lavrov did not respond at the meeting to Rasmussen’s request for financial help, according to a western diplomat familiar with the talks.
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