NATO Allies and partners stress support for Afghan Security Forces
NATO Allies and ISAF partners on Wednesday (23 October 2013) discussed with their Afghan counterpart progress in Afghanistan and planning for the post-2014 mission to train, advise and assist Afghan Security Forces. “We have moved closer to putting that mission in place. Our military commanders have reviewed planning and identified in broad terms the key elements we require to set up the mission,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.
Afghan forces took the lead for providing security nation-wide in June “and they have shown that they are up to the job,” said Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen. “Currently, they are leading more than 1,000 patrols a day. They are planning and conducting complex operations in all parts of the country and they are developing their skills in areas such as helicopter air support. All of this is to achieve the best possible position from which they will assume full responsibility for security at the end of 2014,” he underlined.
The Secretary General stressed that Allies and partners will continue to stand by Afghanistan after the ISAF mission ends in December 2014. Defence Ministers moved ahead in their planning for the NATO-led post 2014 Resolute Support mission. “We still have work to do,” said Mr. Fogh Rasmussen. “This includes agreeing a legal framework with the Afghan government on the status of our forces.” He said that this sort of framework is needed whenever and wherever NATO deploys forces. However, the Secretary General stressed that NATO remains committed to working with our Afghan partners on establishing the new mission. “And our plans will be further developed and closely coordinated with the Afghan government,” Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said.
ISAF Defence Ministers also discussed next year’s elections in Afghanistan, which will be fully led and managed by the Afghans. “We expect those elections to be transparent, inclusive and credible,” said Mr. Fogh Rasmussen.
They also reviewed the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. That review has been published. It sets out the areas where NATO is doing well and areas where more work is needed.The Afghan Defence Minister Bismullah Khan Mohammadi attended the meeting, as well as representatives from the European Union and the United Nations.