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NATO Welcomes Afghan Ruling On August 20 Vote

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (L) with Afghan President Hamid Karzai
BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- NATO has welcomed a decision by Afghanistan's Election Commission to confirm an August 20 date for the country's presidential election, saying it would provide sufficient time to ensure security.

"NATO and the secretary-general welcome this decision," NATO spokesman James Appathurai told a news briefing, after the commission said polls could not be held next month as demanded by President Hamid Karzai and that August 20 would remain the polling day.

Appathurai said the August 20 date would allow time to bring in troop reinforcements to ensure security for the vote.