Page last updated at 12:58 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

UK Afghanistan ambassador Mark Sedwill given Nato role

British troops in Helmand, May 2007
UK troops are among those fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan

The UK's ambassador in Kabul is to be the new Nato senior civilian representative for Afghanistan.

It is expected Mark Sedwill, who has been based in Afghanistan for about a year, will work on its development and the implementation of civilian aid.

He will also work closely with the commander of the Nato-led force there, Gen Stanley McChrystal.

And he will direct the non-military work of the 43 nations involved in the Nato-overseen operation.

Western countries engaged in Afghanistan are set to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai and scores of other officials from the region in London on Thursday to discuss how to reinvigorate civilian and military operations in the country.

BBC Security Correspondent Gordon Corera described the role as "potentially a very important job".

He said: "The idea will be for this job to have more enhanced power and responsibility to make sure that the aid money in particular that goes to Afghanistan actually gets to people on the ground and is tied into the military strategy, is winning over people and is having a real effect."

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