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NATO Agrees To Train Iraqis, Increase Afghan Force

29 June 2004 -- NATO leaders agreed yesterday to help train Iraqi security forces and to significantly expand the alliance's mission in Afghanistan.

Meeting at a summit in the Turkish city of Istanbul, leaders from NATO's 26 member states said in a statement that they are united in their support of Iraq's interim government, which assumed power today in a surprise handover of sovereignty two days ahead of schedule.

NATO agreed to train Iraqi forces, but failed to reach a consensus on whether it should be done inside or outside Iraq.

Afghanistan welcomed a decision at the summit to raise the number of NATO peacekeepers in the country to 10,000 from 6,500 to improve security ahead of elections scheduled for September.

The troops will set up permanent military teams in four northern Afghan cities.