MoU on military academy inked with UK
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai and British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the establishment of a British-style military academy in Afghanistan.
Addressing a press conference after signing the MoU, Karzai said the military academy -- similar to a modern institute in the United Kingdom (UK) -- would play an important role in training Afghan forces. Karzai thanked the UK government’s support for setting up the academy.
Cameron, who arrived on an unannounced visit in southern Helmand province where he met British troops and local security officials on Wednesday, said he wanted to see a stable and self-sufficient Afghanistan. He hoped Afghan security forces would be able to defend the country on their own in the future.
The international community would continue to support the Afghan government after NATO troops’ withdrawal in 2014, as pledged by the NATO conference in Chicago and the donors meeting in Tokyo, the visiting leader said.
Cameron remarked: "I think this sends a very clear message to the Taliban that you cannot wait this out until foreign forces leave in 2014, because we will be firm friends and supporters of Afghanistan long beyond then.”
Karzai called the reconciliation process "the most important goal" being pursued by his administration. "We will how we could intensify Pakistan’s role in the peace process," he said of a three-way summit, which is to be held later in the day.
The military training centre, named as the Afghan National Army Officers' Academy (ANAOA), is being built on the Qargha site in Kabul. Part of the initiative set out in the Enduring Strategic Partnership Document signed in January 2012 between both countries.
“The United Kingdom is committed to continuing its support to Afghan National Security Forces and to the professional development of the force. It is intended thus to create an enduring link between the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and the Afghan National Army Officer Academy,” said the MoU.
Under the agreement, the Afghan Command Staff will ensure that a process is in place to select to generate competent officers and senior non-commissioned officers with the right experience to form the cadre of the ANAOA personnel who would lead and train future officers.
Ideally, this will include those with UK Advance Command and Staff Course or Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, experience. About 1,350 ANA male officer cadets and 150 female of sufficient quality would join the academy each year.
“The Afghan Command Staff will be responsible for the funding, running and maintenance costs for the ANA OA once the facilities are built and handed over to them,” says the agreement.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.