Dutch diplomat named as NATO SCR in Afghanistan
Replacing Ambassador Simon Gass, who has served as the SCR since April 2011, Jochems will represent NATO’s political leadership in Kabul and work to support NATO’s goal of a sovereign, secure and democratic Afghanistan.
“This will mean practical coordination with the Afghan authorities on issues like transition and NATO’s post-2014 partnership with Afghanistan. It will also involve a close partnership with the ISAF Commander as well as the international community,” the alliance said in a statement.
Ambassador Jochems was quoted as saying: “Our mission in Afghanistan is in a very important phase and I look forward to helping to ensure that the transition goes smoothly.
“I will also make it a priority to continue the good work in forging a close working partnership with the government of Afghanistan and other actors. The success of our mission will be vital to secure a stable and prosperous Afghanistan. That is my goal.”
Jochems, who is currently the ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Estonia, is expected to take up his new post in October. He has extensive experience at NATO and previously served as NATO’s interim senior civilian representative in Afghanistan in 2008.
He served as deputy assistant secretary general for plans in the Operations Division of NATO’s International Secretariat, during which he was deployed to Pakistan to manage NATO’s disaster relief support during the earthquake in 2005.
Rasmussen said: “Ambassador Jochems brings with him an in-depth knowledge of Afghanistan and the wider region which will be of great benefit to our mission there. His appointment comes at a crucial time for ISAF as we continue to hand over more areas of security control to the Afghan forces.”
Also on Tuesday, ISAF Commander Gen. John R. Allen extends his congratulations to the new NATO SCR. “On behalf of ISAF, I offer our congratulations to Jochems on his appointment…”
Meanwhile, the US embassy in Kabul welcomed the appointment of Jochems and hoped the Alliance would benefit from the in-depth knowledge of Afghanistan and diplomatic skill that he would bring to the crucial position.
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