BRUSSELS, Belgium -- NATO is urging Canada not to pull its troops out of Afghanistan's dangerous Kandahar province.
Alliance spokesman James Appathurai says the defence organization will find the additional troops for southern Afghanistan that Ottawa is demanding.
Appathurai was responding to comments earlier this week by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who said Canada will only keep its 2,500 troops in Kandahar after their mandate expires in 2009 if it gets more support.
Among other things, Canada wants other allies to provide an additional 1,000 combat troops for Kandahar province, a hotbed of the Taliban insurgency.
It also wants them to supply helicopters and unmanned surveillance planes to help battle the insurgents.
Appathurai says NATO defence ministers will discuss Canada's demand for more support at a meeting next month in Vilnius, Lithuania.