Jordan confirms receiving NATO request to train Afghan army

Thursday, March 11, 2010

AMMAN - The Jordanian government Wednesday confirmed that it had received an official request from the NATO alliance to train the Afghan army.

“We have received a request for training Afghan policemen and we are still studying it,” Minister of State for Media Affairs Nabil Sharif said at a press conference.

He did not give further details, but the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen indicated during a visit to Jordan last week that the alliance was in the process of establishing formal cooperation with Jordan in this respect, given Amman’s success in training Iraqi troops and police forces after the 2003 US-led invasion.

“We are very grateful that Jordan has offered similar assistance with the training of Afghan National Security Forces, and I hope that we can soon formalise our cooperation in this area,” Rasmussen said in a lecture at the Jordan Institute of Diplommacy.

Sharif’s statement coincided with a call by the Muslim Brotherhood movement on the Jordanian government to reject the NATO pressure.

“Jordan has no interest to enter a battle raging between the Afghan people and the NATO alliance because such a step will turn Jordan into a partner in the atrocities committed by the US forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” the group’s leader, Hammam Saeed, said in a statement Tuesday.

Jordan has about 90 military personnel in Afghanistan, thus becoming the only Arab country to have a military presence in the war-torn Islamic country.

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