NATO decides to maintain presence in Afghanistan
NATO Foreign Ministers decided today (13 May 2015) that the Alliance will maintain a presence in Afghanistan after the end of its current mission Resolute Support.
"Today, we took a major decision which shows that we stay committed to Afghanistan. We agreed that we will maintain a presence in Afghanistan, even after the end of our current mission, Resolute Support, " NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the end of a meeting of Foreign Ministers of NATO and partner countries contributing to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Antalya, Turkey.
"Our future presence will be led by civilians. It will have a light footprint. But it will have a military component," he added. NATO's civilian and military authorities will now develop a plan for this continued NATO presence by this autumn.
Mr. Stoltenberg pointed out "our aim will be to advise and instruct the Afghan security institutions, to help them become self-sufficient, and to build on what we have achieved so far, as part of the broader international effort."
During today's meeting, ministers and partners took stock of the continued progress of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces as these are exerting full security responsibility across the country and discussed on their future cooperation with Afghanistan.
The Commander of the Resolute Support Mission, General John Campbell and representatives from the United Nations, the European Union, Japan, and South Korea also attended the meeting.