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Kabul: Security Council approves expanding force

Security Council approves expanding international force to outside Afghan capital

The United Nations Security Council gave its approval today for the international troops in Afghanistan to move out from the capital, Kabul, citing the importance of extending the Government's authority throughout the country and providing security for reconstruction and humanitarian efforts.

The vote on the new resolution, which extended the force's mandate another 12 months, was unanimous.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which assumed command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on 11 August, had recommended that the troops move out from the capital but said that Council authorization would be needed.

The resolution passed today stressed "the importance of extending central government authority to all parts of Afghanistan" and authorized expansion of ISAF's mandate "to allow it, as resources permit, to support the Afghan Transitional Authority and its successors in the maintenance of security in the areas of Afghanistan outside Kabul and its environs, so that the Afghan Authorities as well as the personnel of the Untied Nations and other international civilian personnel engaged in particular, in the reconstruction and humanitarian efforts, can operate in a secure environment."

The Council also noted that the Afghan Foreign Minister had also asked for the assistance outside Kabul.

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