by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the occasion of his visit to Camp Morehead, Afghanistan
General, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning. I am very pleased to be here at Camp Morehead.
To meet with the Afghan commando units.
And to see you in action.
Thank you for welcoming me. And thank you for the impressive demonstration.
This is my first visit to Afghanistan as the Secretary General of NATO.
I made it a top priority to come here. Because Afghanistan is a top priority for NATO.
Together, we have achieved a lot. To ensure the stability of Afghanistan. To create the conditions for a better future for the Afghan people.
To build up national security forces of three hundred and fifty thousand Afghan soldiers and police.
And today, I have seen a highly trained, experienced and professional force.
You can be proud of what you are doing. The Afghan people can be proud of you. And they depend on you.
You are part of a new, but capable national security force.
For over a year Afghan soldiers and police have led security operations across the country.
I pay tribute to your courage. I honour those who have lost their lives and those who have been injured in the service of your country.
Despite the challenges, and the sacrifices, the Afghan security forces have proven effective.
At the end of this year, you will take full charge of security.
But you will not stand alone. NATO and our partners will continue to support you.
We will begin a new training, advise and assist mission. We will continue our efforts to ensure Afghanistan’s Army and Police remain strong.
Much has been sacrificed over many years to give Afghanistan a chance to succeed.
We cannot and we will not allow these gains to be lost.
I am here to reaffirm NATO’s commitment to our common efforts for peace and security.
I thank you for the great work you are doing. And I wish you continued success in keeping the Afghan people secure.
Thank you very much.