BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A top official said Friday that NATO is concerned about an increase in terrorism in Afghanistan since the alliance withdrew its combat troops in 2014.
"We cannot underestimate what is happening in Afghanistan because after we withdrew our troops... we saw a new increase of terrorism," the president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Paolo Alli, told The Associated Press.
Alli said the Taliban also expanded their control of parts of the country after NATO ended its combat mission in 2014. Some alliance troops remained to train and advise Afghan forces under the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.
Alli's comments in Bucharest came after Kay Bailey Hutchison, the U.S. ambassador to the alliance, said Washington would ask NATO to contribute about 1,000 additional troops to fight the resurgent Taliban.
Alli said the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan had led to Afghans fleeing the country.
"We have seen in the last two or three years a lot of refugees coming to Eastern Europe from Afghanistan and that (is) the effect of the Taliban taking away control of some parts of the country," he told The AP.
The number of additional troops NATO sends to Afghanistan will be decided by governments.
There are currently about 13,500 troops in Afghanistan, of which some 8,400 are U.S. troops.
NATO is holding a four-day Parliamentary Assembly in Bucharest where the alliance's relations with Russia and Black Sea security are among the key themes.
This story corrects that Alli is not a NATO official, but a member of Italian parliamentary delegation.