MADRID  - Spain is mulling keeping some troops in Afghanistan after 2014, when Nato forces are due to end combat operations, Spanish Defence Minister Pedro Morenes said in an interview published Sunday. “No decision has been taken yet. It all depends on Spain’s financial and economic situation, which us not good. There is a desire to continue helping the Afghan people,” he told daily newspaper El Pais. “One criterion will always be the security of the troops that are deployed there. In addition, any mission beyond 2014 must be carried out with Nato and the international community,” he added.

If Spain does keep some troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 when Afghan security forces are due to have taken over responsibility for security, they will be involved in training of Afghan troop, the minister added.

Morenes is taking part in a Nato summit in Chicago on Sunday that will be dominated by Afghanistan.

Despite the stubborn Taliban insurgency, war-weary international forces are seeking to hand control of security to Afghan forces while withdrawing some 130,000 foreign combat troops by the end of 2014.

Spain has previously said it plans to withdraw all of its 1,500 troops serving in the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan by 2014.