UK Ambassador Sir Nicholas Kay appointed as new NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan

  • 05 Dec. 2018 -
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  • Last updated: 05 Dec. 2018 15:40

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday (5 December 2018) that he has appointed Sir Nicholas Kay of the United Kingdom as the next NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan. Mr. Stoltenberg made the announcement following a meeting of Foreign Ministers on the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission.

The Secretary General said: “I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Sir Nicholas Kay as NATO's next Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan. He will take up his appointment in March 2019. Sir Nicholas knows Afghanistan well, having served for more than a year as the United Kingdom's ambassador in Kabul. I congratulate him on his appointment, and wish him every success as NATO continues to support Afghanistan on its path toward greater security and lasting peace. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Senior Civilian Representative, Ambassador Cornelius Zimmermann, for his excellent service. His active engagement with the Afghan government and civil society was a crucial part of NATO's efforts in Afghanistan, and I greatly value his counsel.”

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Sir Nicholas Kay will bring a wealth of experience on the political developments in Afghanistan in his new role as NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative and I would like to thank him for his tireless work as the British Ambassador to Afghanistan. Despite the violence, we have seen tentative steps towards a peace process beginning to emerge and the UK, along with our international partners, stands firmly with the Afghan government to support their efforts to build peace.”

Sir Nicholas Kay is currently serving as UK Ambassador to Afghanistan. He brings an extensive experience on Afghanistan and the South Asia region, having also worked as UK Regional Coordinator for Southern Afghanistan in Helmand in 2006–2007 and as Head of the Pakistan and Afghanistan Section in the South Asian Department of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 1995–1997.

Sir Nicholas Kay will replace Ambassador Cornelius Zimmermann of Germany, who has been in the post since March 2017.

The Senior Civilian Representative carries forward the Alliance's political-military objectives in Afghanistan, representing the political leadership of the Alliance in Kabul officially and publicly. The role involves liaising with the Afghan Government, civil society, representatives of the international community, and neighbouring countries. Working closely with the  Resolute Support Mission, the Senior Civilian Representative provides a direct channel of communication with NATO Headquarters in Brussels.