Mohammadi meets Hammond in Brussels
KABUL (PAN): Afghan Defence Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi and his British counterpart Phillip Hammond discussed a range of issues, including the Afghan National Army Officer Academy, where they both welcomed the start of training this week.
Mohammadi met the US Secretary of State for Defence on the sidelines of a defence ministerial meeting of NATO countries in the Belgium capital of Brussels, a statement issued by the UK embassy in Kabul said.
“I welcomed the chance to meet Minister Mohammadi in Brussels to discuss the current challenges facing Afghanistan, and the long term commitment the UK is providing to help secure the future of Afghanistan and its military forces,” the statement quoted Hammond as saying.
He said the Afghan National Army Officer Academy welcomed its first students this week. “Supported by our allies, the UK is mentoring, assisting and advising Afghan instructors to run courses based around the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst model, designed to teach Afghan National Army officers key leadership and tactical skills”.
“This will help ensure the Afghan officers and those training them will be of the highest quality helping sustain the progress made to date in building a capable and professional force, during and after the transition of security responsibility to the Afghan government”.
For his part, Mohammdi said they were looking forward to presiding over the opening ceremony of the Afghan National Army Officer Academy next week.
“With the help of the UK, our recruits will become familiar with the customs of leadership, gain knowledge of Afghan and wider military affairs, and have developed the core values necessary for future leadership of the ANA: God – integrity and honour; Country – service and respect; and Duty – courage and loyalty.”
“The development of these cadets and their continuing professional training will help the Afghan forces maintain the security of our nation for many years to come.”
“We have established a strong ANA and we need to ensure that we can sustain it in the future. I look forward to maintaining close relations with Hammond, as our nations continue with the ANAOA partnership and other areas of force development.”
Mohammadi also thanked the Secretary of State for the support UK forces have provided to the nation of Afghanistan.
“I want to thank the people and the government of the UK for the many sacrifices that the British Forces have made in Helmand province in support of our people and we honour them – we have fought shoulder to shoulder and they will not be forgotten.”
He said the “blood and treasure” given up by the UK and NATO allies and their strong partnership had meant that Afghan Security Forces were now able to take lead in all operations and manage security responsibly to secure a better future for all the peoples of Afghanistan.
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