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Afghan Interior Minister Says Biden Promised To Help Improve Police Force

Afghan Interior Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar

Afghan Interior Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar

KABUL -- Afghan Interior Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar says U.S. Vice President-elect Joseph Biden told him that he will do everything possible to support plans to strengthen the Afghan police force after he takes office in Washington next week.

Atmar told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that he met with Biden on January 10 in his Kabul office.

Atmar said he had three proposals for Biden: to increase the number of U.S. police trainers; to enlarge the capacity of the Afghan police as a whole; and to provide police with modern weapons and equipment.

Atmar emphasized that Afghanistan needs a strong police force ahead of the presidential election due to be held in the autumn.

Atmar told RFE/RL he is optimistic that Biden will keep his pledge and fulfill the requests.

Atmar is tipped by some to be a possible presidential candidate, and Biden's visit with him is seen by some observers as a significant gesture.