LtGen Walter Gaskin, Acting Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, recalled the outcome of the Bonn Conference (5 Dec.) and the meeting of the NATO Foreign Ministers (7 Dec) as demonstration of the International Community’s commitment to Afghanistan. In his opening remarks, he praised the progress made so far by the Afghan National Army and reaffirmed the need to continue to support Afghanistan throughout the transition process and beyond. In the framework of the Enduring Partnership, a key milestone will be the package of concrete assistance measures to be agreed at NATO’s next Summit in Chicago in May 2012.
In a spirit of reciprocal trust and appreciation, Gen Karimi expressed his gratitude towards NATO efforts in Afghanistan. He emphasized the improvements achieved by the Afghan military, particularly in the fields of education, gender and training. Thanking NATO’s Allies and Partners, he assured the Military Committee that the valuable support given by their nations is most appreciated and that their sacrifice will not be wasted. Indeed, this is a solid base on which to build stability for the Afghan population and for the wider region.