UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council on Friday strongly backed the new agreement for NATO to train, advise and assist Afghanistan's security forces after its combat operations end on Dec. 31.
A resolution adopted unanimously by the council welcomes the new mission, named "Resolute Support," and "underscores the importance of continued international support for the stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan."
Afghanistan's insurgency has intensified in recent months and the violence is expected to continue as the U.S.-led international military mission winds down as the end of the year approaches. U.S. and NATO soldiers will draw down to around 13,000 on Jan. 1, from a peak in 2010 of 140,000, as the Afghan security forces assume full sovereignty over the country's security.
The resolution approved by the 15 council members condemns "the ongoing violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups, illegal armed groups, criminals and those involved in the production, trafficking or trade of illicit drugs."
It says the goal of the new training mission is to further enhance the capabilities of Afghan military and security forces so that they can maintain security and stability throughout the country.
Afghanistan's U.N. Ambassador Zahir Tanin called the resolution "a clear indication" of support from the council and the international community for the Afghan people and the new government.
"No doubt, there are challenges ahead: Al-Qaida and the Taliban continue to launch brutal terror attacks," Tanin said, pointing to deadly suicide attacks at a French school in Kabul Thursday and at a volleyball match in Paktika province a few weeks ago as two examples.