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NATO tries to allay Afghan security fears

NATO allies are in intensive talks to allay security concerns among nations key to a plan to expand peacekeeping in Afghanistan amid growing violence there, alliance sources said on Friday. The Netherlands, one of three nations earmarked to lead the expansion into the more dangerous southern region in the first half of next year, has raised questions over whether NATO will have sufficient forces to handle serious trouble, they said. NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is due on Monday to meet New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who insists she will not transfer to NATO a 120-strong reconstruction team in Bamiyan province unless the alliance guarantees robust support.Full Story

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