by the Secretary General on progress before London conference

  • 27 Jan. 2010 -
  • |
  • Press Release (2010) 010
  • Issued on 27 Jan. 2010
  • |
  • Last updated: 27 Jan. 2010 12:21

I am pleased that, on the eve of the London conference, the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan has been further strengthened. I welcome the announcement by Chancellor Merkel that Germany will add up to 850 soldiers, and make a very substantial contribution to the training mission.

This decision, along with Romania’s recent announcement of 600 more soldiers and other new contributions likely to be announced in the coming days, will substantially strengthen the NATO-led mission. These troops, on top of the 37,000 new forces from 36 countries already flowing into Afghanistan, are a clear demonstration of NATO’s solidarity and determination to accomplish its mission.

I am also pleased to announce the finalisation of an agreement with Kazakhstan that will allow the transit of supplies for NATO and Partner forces. I thank the Kazakh Government for coming to this agreement with us. This allows supplies for our forces to start moving from Europe to Afghanistan, beginning in the coming days, complementing the very important transit route through Pakistan.

Taken together, the announcement of new forces, and a new supply route, helps to further strengthen the NATO-ISAF mission. ISAF will play its full part in supporting the decisions taken at the London conference, as part the new momentum we will see in 2010.