NATO Defence Ministers confirmed enduring support for Afghanistan in a ministerial meeting of Resolute Support nations on Thursday (25 June 2015). Meeting with Afghan Acting Minister of Defence Masoom Stanezkai, the ministers reviewed the security situation and the first six months of the Resolute Support mission.
While noting that “it has been a challenging time,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that the Afghan forces “have dealt with this effectively,” demonstrating “exemplary courage, determination and commitment.” The Secretary General reaffirmed that the Alliance will continue to support Afghanistan in the years ahead, saying “NATO and our partners stand with Afghanistan.”
Ministers welcomed the Afghan government’s ambitious programme of reforms, and encouraged them to implement these quickly and thoroughly. “They are determined to bring peace to their country,” said Mr. Stoltenberg, adding “we strongly support the Afghan government in their efforts.”
“Our forces continue to provide training, advice and assistance,” said the Secretary General, adding “we are beginning to plan for the next stage of our Resolute Support mission.”
Recalling the decision made by Foreign Ministers in May to support Afghanistan’s security institutions after the end of the Resolute Support mission, Mr. Stoltenberg said: “we have confirmed our commitment to a civilian-led presence” in order to “further develop Afghan security institutions.”
Calling this a “time of changes and challenges”, the Secretary General concluded “together, we will rise to the challenges and we will stand together.”