NATO pays tribute to ISAF mission, as new chapter opens in relations with Afghanistan

  • 17 Dec. 2014 -
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  • Last updated: 17 Dec. 2014 18:41

The North Atlantic Council met for the last time in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) format today (17 December). “For well over a decade, our nations stood shoulder to shoulder in the largest coalition for peace and stability in history. This has been a challenging mission, in many respects. Militarily. Politically. Economically,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said. “But we have met these challenges. Together, we have done what we set out to do. With a clear United Nations mandate, we have denied safe haven to international terrorists. We have made Afghanistan stronger. And we have made our own nations safer”, Mr. Stoltenberg added. “Challenges still remain. But today, Afghanistan is more stable and prosperous than ever”.

Left to right: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg; General Sir John McColl, first ISAF Commander in 2001, currently Lieutenant Governor of Jersey and Lieutenant General  Gotz Gliemeroth, ISAF Commander from October 2003 until February 2004

Mr. Stoltenberg said  NATO Allies and Partners were “confident in the ability of the Afghan National Security Forces to assume full responsibility” and  that a new chapter will open in the relationship between NATO and Afghanistan  from 1 January 2015. “It will centre on our new Resolute Support mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces. We will also contribute to the financing of the Afghan security forces.”  

The NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan  Ambassador Maurits Jochems and the current Deputy Commander of ISAF, Lieutenant General Carsten Jacobson  addressed the meeting. It was attended by representatives of  the fifty-one countries which have contributed to ISAF and by  the Afghan Ambassador to Belgium Humayon Tandar.

The commander of ISAF in 2001,  when ISAF troops first deployed, General Sir John McColl  and  the commander of the mission in August 2003,  when ISAF became  NATO-led,  Lieutenant General Götz Glimeroth also took part in the meeting.