by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council with Resolute Support Operational Partner Nations and Potential Operational Partner Nations
Let me start by thanking our hosts: Prime Minister Davutoglu and Foreign Minister Cavusoglu for hosting us so nicely here in Turkey.
Dear Ahmet and Dear Mevlut, I really appreciate your great hospitality.
We are starting our meeting today with Afghanistan.
And I think that is really fitting, because in Afghanistan we have invested a lot, together we have achieved a lot and we want to ensure that Afghanistan continues to move forward.
So today we will discuss our support to Afghanistan beyond the end of our current mission, including a continued presence of civilian and military personnel.
I thank Foreign Minister Rabbani for joining us today.
And I will commend President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah for their leadership and their vision for their nation.
This is an important moment in Afghanistan’s history.
And national unity is vital for Afghanistan’s future.
But let us not be under any illusions.
Afghanistan remains a dangerous place.
Afghan soldiers and police have been engaged in fierce fighting since they took responsibility for securing the country at the start of this year.
But they have shown tremendous courage and determination.
And they are doing an exceptional good job.
Of course, they will need training, advice and support.
And this is what our mission, Resolute Support, is providing to Afghanistan.
So I also express my thanks to the nations contributing personnel and financially to our common efforts in Afghanistan.
We honor the sacrifices made by Afghanistan by Afghan and international personnel over so many years.
And we will continue to stand with Afghanistan and the people of Afghanistan in the future.
Let me now hand the floor to Prime Minister Davutoglu for his opening remarks.
I know that you are doing a lot of campaigning and that you, as what I say, voice is already affected by that so I am very grateful you have taken the time to come here and to address the Foreign Ministers of NATO together with the Partners in our Resolute Support Mission so warmly welcome and thank you for hosting us. Thank you.
[PRIME MINISTER DAVUTOGULU SPEAKS]
Thank you so much Ahmet for both your remarks and for all the offers you are offering to the Alliance and I would like to not only thank you for your contribution for so many years in Afghanistan but also what you just said about being ready to be a framework nation for the very high Readiness Spearhead Force we are establishing in NATO because that is part of our adaptation to the changed security environment and it is increasing the readiness and the preparedness of our forces.
And we will very much like to come back to Turkey with our families and not just sit inside but also be outside of the hotel, but I think this time we have to spend most of the time inside.
But thank you so much and this ends the public part of this meeting so I will thank the representatives of the media.