Stephen Evans, NATO's assistant secretary-general, told members of the U.N. Security Council that Afghan leaders needed to "face up" to the challenges in the country.
International forces operating in Afghanistan are scheduled to leave the country in 2014 as national forces take responsibility for security operations.
Evans said this security responsibility should complement NATO's efforts to bring stability to the country.
"NATO recognizes that its contribution to the stability of Afghanistan is just part of a much wider effort by the Afghan themselves, and by the international community to tackle the broad spectrum of security, governance and development challenges faced by Afghanistan," he said.
NATO forces in Afghanistan said this month they'd restrict airstrikes on Taliban targets close to local populations to cut down on civilian deaths. Afghan President Hamid Karzai suggested some NATO strikes may represent a disproportionate use of force.
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