NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has begun a three-day visit to Afghanistan. He met the President Hamid Karzai to discuss the Taliban rebellion and the reconstruction programme in the country.
It is part of a fact-finding mission which has already included a meeting with the commander in chief of forces in Afghanistan General Dan McNeill.
Also on the agenda are meetings with local politicians, NGOs and ambassadors from NATO member countries.
His visit comes at a time when Australia is considering plans to double the number of troops in Afghanistan, a move designed to counter an expected upsurge in al-Qaeda and Taliban violence.
There are already more than 35,000 NATO troops from 37 countries in Afghanistan. About a third are stationed in the south of the country.