NATO FMs to discuss post-RS cooperation with Afghanistan
ANTALYA (Pajhwok): Praising Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) for taking responsibility of security in Afghanistan, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the Foreign Ministerial Meeting of the alliance would formally decide how long the Resolute Support (RS) mission will last.
Address a press conference, Stoltenberg said three elements that would be addressed included one of them was the duration of the Resolute Support. “Because we have not decided formally how long the Resolute Support Mission will last. The United States has announced clearly that they will end its participation in the Resolute Support by the end of 2016.”
So of course, he said then NATO has to take that into account when to take final and formal decision on the duration of the Resolute Support.
Then there are two other issues which they would discuss in Antalya, he said, adding: “What do we do after we have ended the Resolute Support mission? And we have made decisions before about what we will then establish what we call the Enduring Partnership, the long-term partnership.”
He said that “now we have to start the work of discussing what shall be the content of the partnership, the long-term partnership with Afghanistan.”
During the meeting, he said it would make decisions, to start developing guidelines related to the content and how big, how strong shall the Enduring Partnership with Afghanistan be?
“I don't foresee final decisions on this issue in Antalya; but perhaps on what I say some guidelines. And then that we're going to make the final decisions on the scope, the design of the Enduring Partnership at our NATO Summit in July next year in Warsaw,” he added.
Referring to the financial support of ANSF, he said that Afghan National Security Forces were now really taking responsibility for the security in Afghanistan and they were very capable forces.
“So they will be dependent also after 2017 for our economic support. And then of course we have to discuss how we challenge... how we meet that challenge. I don't foresee any decisions there in Antalya. But again, we have to start discussion to discuss different alternatives; and then end at the conclusion at the Summit in Wales... and in Warsaw in July next year,” he remarked.
He said it would have yet to be decided, related to the guidelines of the future relationship with Afghanistan, is whether it's going to be both military and civilian or only civilian; and whether it's going to a civilian-led or a military-led.
But these are questions which “we are going to then discuss at our meeting. And hopefully, I will be able to give a more precise answer later on this week,” he added.
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