NATO countries have agreed on a schedule for commanding the Alliance-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF) up to 2007.
This decision will give continuity and stability to the ISAF mission at a stage where NATO is preparing to further expand the mission to the West of the country.
NATO Allies have agreed to provide a commander and staff the mission’s Headquarters in Kabul between 2005 and 2007.
“This demonstrates that NATO is in for the long run and the Alliance will play its role well into the future,” said NATO’s Spokesman James Appathurai.
At present, the force is commanded by the multinational Eurocorps, which is due to hand over command in February 2005.
NATO’s operations are staffed by forces from the member countries, assigned to operations for a specific period of time, usually six months. The Alliance has been looking at extending planning cycles, to facilitate the planning of missions.