MOSCOW. Sept 28 (Interfax) - The U.S. intends to ask the UN Security Council for a new resolution on the presence of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014, Kommersant reported on Friday.
A source in the White House told Kommersant the U.S. is prepare to raise with the UN Security Council the issue of the new resolution for the period beyond 2014, which will crate a legal foundation for the extension of the U.S. troops' presence in Afghanistan and cooperation between the U.S. ad its partners, including Russia, on this track.
The source said the White House believes Russia's demand for the adoption by the UN Security Council of a new resolution on the presence of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 is "absolutely right."
There are currently 68,000 U.S. troops in the The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The ISAF mission, which is guided by Resolution 1386 passed in 2001, will end in late 2014, Kommersant has reported.
The U.S., however, wants to keep several thousands of its troops in Afghanistan beyond this date and create several training bases there. Kommersant's source in the White House said that Barack Obama has not yet decided how many military bases will be left there and for what kind of period of time. Russia, in turn, is concerned about the purpose and legal status of these bases.
"We want clarity. If the mission to fight terrorists has been fulfilled, the bases will be kept there for a different purpose, unrelated to Afghanistan. If the fight against terrorism has to continue, we need to raise the question about extending the mandate by the UN," Russia's envoy in the UN Vitaly Churkin said.
The U.S. is confident that Russia should be interested in the U.S. staying in Afghanistan for as long as possible to help create a capable police and army that can independently fight terrorism and drug trafficking in Afghanistan, the source in the White House told Kommersant.
However, Russia insists that NATO should report on the first mandate before requesting a second mandate for Afghanistan from the UN Security Council. "Only in this case we will be ready to consider the possibility of adopting a new resolution. NATO officials need to officially report on the results of the Afghan campaign and to say honestly if they have fulfilled their obligations or not," a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Kommersant's source in the White House could not say if the U.S. will find it necessary to report to anyone, saying the U.S. regularly informs the UN Security Council on its operations in Afghanistan and the White House has not yet received any official requests to make any final reports.
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