NATO confirms planning follow-up Afghan mission
KABUL (Pajhwok): At the end of the defence ministerial meeting in Brussels, NATO on Thursday confirmed its commitment to a civilian-led presence in Afghanistan after the Resolute Support mission to further develop Afghan security institutions.
“This is a time of changes and challenges, both for Afghanistan and for NATO,” Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, adding they took stock of the progress made since the launch of Resolute Support in January.
“We discussed the evolution of the mission and looked at how we will continue to support the Afghan National Security Forces. How we will do that also in the longer term.”
Now six months since the Afghan forces took full responsibility for security in Afghanistan, he said it had been a challenging time as there had been attacks in Kabul and fighting across the country.
However, he said, the Afghan forces had dealt with these attacks and challenges effectively and had shown exemplary courage, determination and commitment in these very challenging environments.
At the same time, he continued, the Afghan government had set out an ambitious reform programme. “We encourage the government to continue to implement these reforms.”
He said the alliance was determined to bringing peace to Afghanistan and strongly supported the Afghan government and NATO and its partners stood with Afghanistan.
“Our forces continue to provide training, advice and assistance and we are beginning to plan for the next stage of our Resolute Support mission.”
“To look at what we need to do, and how will best to do it. This will continue in the coming months and we will make further decisions later in this year.”
He said the NATO foreign ministers meeting in May, they recognized the need to support Afghanistan’s security institutions after the end of the current mission, through enhanced Enduring Partnership.
“But together, we will rise to the challenges and we will stand together.
Acting Afghan Defence Minister Masoom Stanekzai joined his counterparts from more than 40 NATO ally and partner countries. It was his first meeting with NATO counterparts.
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