- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

BRUSSELS (AP) - The U.S. is lobbying its allies to continue financial assistance for the Afghan army, which is now faced with a resurgent Taliban.

Richard Olson, the Obama administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, met Friday with NATO’s principal decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council.

Olson told reporters afterward, “We think it’s really important for the alliance to continue to invest in Afghanistan.”

He said the U.S. hopes to win commitments that would allow foreign assistance for Afghanistan’s security forces to continue in 2018-2020 at the same levels NATO leaders agreed to in 2012.

According to NATO, contributions to a special NATO-Afghan National Army Trust Fund to date amount to $1.38 billion. In addition, NATO allies and partner nations have confirmed another $450 million per year in funding pledges through 2017.

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