Australia open to sending more troops to Afghanistan

Canberra: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday said the country is open to sending more troops to Afghanistan in response to a request by the NATO.

“We have been asked to consider sending additional resources, and we are actively considering that. We’re open to that,” Turnbull told the media.

Turnbull had met senior officials of the NATO and the Defence Secretary of the US, James Mattis, in Kabul during a surprise visit to the region last month, Efe news reported.

“It is very important that we continue (…) to work together to build up the capacity of Afghanistan’s own security forces so they can keep the country secure from the threat of terrorism,” Turnbull said.

Australia currently has 270 troops stationed in Afghanistan for training and technical assistance to Afghan troops.

Between 2001 and 2014, it had deployed up to 1,500 soldiers for combat missions in the conflict-torn country.