Kabul to urge support for Afghan Air Force at Warsaw summit
KABUL (Pajhwok): Acting Defence Minister Masoom Stanikzai on Monday said Afghanistan would urge the NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, next year to strengthen the Afghan Air Force and equip and train the Afghan army in line with international standards.
The minister was addressing a gathering that involved representatives from 20 aid-giving countries, including the US and UK, and international organizations in Kabul.
Stanikzai told the meeting that the Afghan forces were currently battling nearly 30 international and national terrorist groups including Taliban, Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
He said the Afghan forces conducted 25,000 military actions, including 2,941 joint and exclusive operations, and 22,000 military flights this solar year that begins from March 22.
Stanikzai said currently 1337 women, including those in military uniform, were associated with the Ministry of Defence.
First of all, he insisted, the Afghan Air Force needed to be strengthened. He said efforts were underway to ensure accountability and transparency in the defence ministry’s affairs.
He said the air force was facing shortages of capacity-building equipment, heavy weaponry, engineering, intelligence and air defence equipment and all these would be urged at the Warsaw summit scheduled to take place on July 8-9 next year.
Interior Minister Noorul Haq Ulumi also said the Afghan National Police (ANP) needed international political and financial support, saying efforts at eliminating corruption and ensuring transparency in his ministry were in place.
Speaking on the occasion, Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi said the Afghan security organs through their organized plans would attract international attention and assistance to the Afghan security sector at the Warsaw summit.
Canadian Ambassador Deborah Lyons said the international community was committed to assisting Afghanistan in accordance with its pledges.
However, she said measures should be taken to bring about reforms in the security sector particularly in areas of procurement and financial affairs. She said corruption should be banished and women’s participation should be increased.
She said she was hopeful Afghan security officials would organize their affairs in a way acceptable to the international community and to attract the world’s support.
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