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UK 'optimistic' on more Afghan troops

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • UK PM plans to invite Britain's key NATO allies to London to discuss Afghanistan
  • Brown "optimistic" that key coalition partners will increase troop numbers
RELATED TOPICS
  • Afghanistan
  • Gordon Brown
  • NATO

(CNN) -- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is "optimistic" that other countries will contribute more troops to the mission in Afghanistan, he told the head of NATO in a letter this week.

Brown told NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen that cabinet ministers and senior officials recently met with 10 "key coalition partners" about increased troop commitments in 2010. He did not name the countries.

"Following these meetings and contacts, I am now optimistic that a majority of these countries will indeed make available increased numbers of troops, and more police trainers and civilian support," he wrote in a letter dated Tuesday.

Brown said he plans to invite Britain's key NATO allies to London in January to assess progress on Afghanistan, including the handing over of Afghan districts to local control.