Afghanistan being equipped to build its future: Gass
KABUL (PAN): The outgoing NATO’s senior civilian representative, Ambassador Simon Gass, who made his final press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels last week, highlighted that the alliance and the international community were equipping Afghanistan to build its own future.
A statement attributed to Dominic Medley, spokesperson for the alliance senior civilian representative, said that Gass, who had completed his assignment in Afghanistan, told his final press conference that NATO and the international community were equipping Afghanistan to build its own future.
Medley quoted his boss as explaining that the equipping meant by the end of 2014 there would be a security platform for Afghanistan to build on to ensure stability in the future. “NATO’s strategy and the support of the international community mean that Afghanistan will be well placed to do that,” Gass said.
Gass, who took office on April 14, 2011, pointed to three key achievements Afghanistan and the international community had jointly worked on over the last year and a half.
He said Afghan security forces were getting better, their capability was improving. “There still more than two years with ISAF in Afghanistan and a future NATO training mission that will continue this tremendous effort...the aim is to ensure that by the end of 2014, the Afghan national security forces will be capable of maintaining security in their own country,” the outgoing .
With the transition continuing to move forward because of the growing capability of the Afghan forces, Gass said, 75 percent of Afghans now lived in areas where their forces were taking the lead for responsibility for security, something that would progress further later this year with a further announcement.
“Finally, what has been clear this year most especially is the substantial international framework for the continuation of support for Afghanistan,” he said, adding the key conferences on Afghanistan this year, in addition to the Bonn Conference last year, gave a high degree of assurance that Afghanistan would be supported. “Words are being matched with deeds and agreements,” he remarked.
He said major contributions were being made to Afghanistan’s future and in return, Kabul had to move in the right direction in key areas like improved governance, counter-corruption, credible elections and more. ‘’This is the area of mutual commitments which will determine the future relationship,” he said.
When Medley asked what will be the national community’s position if the Afghan government fails to do its part for governance and countering corruption, he said NATO was committed to Afghanistan's long-term future to support Afghan forces. He continued the international community had pledged financially to support the Afghan forces and Afghanistan development and its governance.
“At Tokyo, the Mutual Accountability Framework lays out what the international community will do and what Afghanistan must do as well. The international community must be assured that Afghanistan is moving in the right direction, so that those pledges of funding and commitments do come through at the right time,” he said.
About Pakistani army’s artillery attacks in the eastern Afghanistan and the Afghan ministry of foreign affairs complaint to the UN Security Council against Pakistan, Medley said it was a regular quarterly debate at the UNSC.
He said the complaint by Rassoul was a UN-Afghan government process that would take any of that discussion further forward.
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