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Belgium urged to stay in Afghanistan after 2015
US ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman yesterday made a subtle plea to Belgium by suggesting the government should “stay involved” in Afghanistan after 2015, after the end of the current Nato mission. Nato is putting a new mission in place, focused on training Afghan security forces. “To maintain this progress,” Gutman wrote in La Libre Belgique, listing a series of achievements in Afghanistan since 2002, “it is necessary that we stay involved. The 331,000 members of the Afghan police and army should continue to be funded and to benefit from a certain level of supervision and assistance in order to further increase safety and enable Afghanistan to continue to develop for the benefit of all Afghans. We must continue to support these efforts, which can be difficult in these times of tight budgets, but the benefit to the Afghan population is undoubtedly worth the cost.” The Belgian government has not yet taken any decision on maintaining a military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2015, when Afghan forces will be solely responsible for security in the country.