BRUSSELS: Security officials under NATO command have approached Qatar to secure a base that can be used to train Afghan special forces as part of a strategic commitment after foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan, three senior Western officials said.
After two decades of war, forces from 36 countries involved in NATO s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan are set to pull out of the country in coordination with a U.S. troop withdrawal by Sept. 11.
“We are holding talks to earmark a base in Qatar to create an exclusive training ground for senior members of the Afghan forces,” said a senior Western security official in Kabul.
The official, whose country is part of the U.S.-led NATO alliance in Afghanistan, requested anonymity as he was not authorised to speak with journalists.
An integral part of Resolute Support has been to train and equip Afghan security forces fighting the Islamist Taliban, which was ousted from power in 2001 and has since waged an insurgency.
“We have made an offer but it is for authorities in Qatar to decide if they are comfortable with NATO using their territory as a training ground,” said a second security source based in Washington DC.
A third source, a diplomat based in Kabul, said bringing “Afghan special force members to Qatar for about four to six weeks of rigorous training” was under discussion.