Representatives from countries offering to provide troops for the international security force in Afghanistan are meeting in London on Friday 14th December, to decide the issue. The make-up and the leadership role of Britain in the organisation of the multi-national force is expected to be announced on Tuesday, at the conclusion of the negotiations by the US Secretary of State Colin Powell and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In the meantime, according to the British media, the multi-national force, which will be restricted to 4,000 servicemen, will already be deployed in Afghanistan by 22 December when the new Afghan government takes office. The mission should last for a period of 3 months until the formation of a larger multi-national force, which will be led by Turkey, the media states. According to them, the appropriate UN mandate will be obtained for the operation at the end of the week. Besides British troops, who have offered approximately 3,000 servicemen, it is highly likely that the interim peacekeeping mission will be made up of French troops, and possibly personnel from Italy and Germany.
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