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Stoltenberg: NATO, Afghanistan Agree Civilian-Led Mission

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during the press conference at the NATO Foreign Ministers Summit in Antalya on May 13.

NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance and Afghan leaders have agreed on a framework for a future joint military-civilian presence in Afghanistan when the bloc's current mission ends.

Stoltenberg made the announcement on May 13 after a session of the NATO foreign ministers meeting in the Turkish city of Antalya attended by Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani.

He said that, while the new mission would have a military component, it would be led by a civilian.

NATO is currently leading the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan to train Afghan security forces after the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) wound up at the end of last year.

Stoltenberg said NATO offices had been tasked with working out a plan for the new mission by the autumn.

It is not yet immediately clear when the Resolute Support mission will end and the new mission would start.

Stoltenberg said the numbers of a future mission would be smaller than the present number of personnel, which comprises around 12,500 troops.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP