Afghan army chief meets NATO chief

By EuAsiaNews,

Brussels : Chief of Defence of Afghanistan , General Bismallah Khan, visited NATO headquarters in Brussels Wednesday to meet the Secretary General of the 26-member alliance, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

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NATO spokesman James Appathurai told reporters that Bismallah Khan thanked NATO for its long-term commitments and he explained the steps being taken to improve coordination between the Afghan forces and ISAF and the coalition.

On his part, Scheffer stressed that NATO is preparing to provide forces to support upcoming elections in Afghanistan in August.

“The elections are considered by NATO to be a very important benchmark for Afghanistan’s democratic progress and we will play our part as the third line of security – police , Afghan army , NATO in providing the necessary security,” said the spokesman .

NATO has around 55,000 troops under its ISAF mission in Afghanistan.

Appathurai said the voter registration process in Afghanistan is now complete with the registration of 4.3 million new voters which brings the total number of voters to 15.6 million.

In essence the electorate has been registered, he said and noted that 35-38 % are female voters.

Meanwhile, Scheffer will attend the international meeting on Afghanistan to be held at The Hague, The Netherlands, on 31 March, said the spokesman.

The one-day meeting to be attended by Afghanistan’s neighbors and other stakeholders will be hosted by the Dutch government and presided by the UN.