NATO meeting to finalise new Afghan mission
BRUSSELS (Pajhwok): The two-day defence ministerial meeting that began here on Tuesday would finalise NATO’s plan for a new mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces from next year, the alliance chief said.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters before the start of the meeting that the two-day summit would conclude with a meeting of ISAF troop contributing nations and Afghan defence minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi.
He said European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Jan Kubis had also been invited to assess the current security situation and progress in the transition of security responsibility to Afghan security forces.
He said the meeting would asses and finalize planning for NATO’s new non-combat mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces after 2014.
Ministers will also review the political transition following the April 5 elections, including with a view to the second round in June.
“As we continue to deal with this crisis on our doorstep, we are just months away from completing our longest combat mission in Afghanistan. At the same time, we are finalising our plan for a new mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces from next year,” Rasmussen said.
However, he said they could only launch the new mission if they had the legal framework in place. “But despite the challenges, I am increasingly confident that we will be able to launch the mission and build on the gains we have made in Afghanistan.”
Mohammadi, ISAF commander in Afghanistan Gen. Joseph Dunford and NATO civilian representative in Afghanistan will attend the meeting on Wednesday, when Afghanistan will be on top of the agenda.
Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Gen. Zahir Azimi said Mohammadi was expected to talk about the problems and challenges being faced by Afghan forces, including the air force.
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