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
Ladies and gentlemen
Let me welcome you all to this meeting of the defence ministers from the countries contributing to our Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.
In the last six months:
NATO’s ISAF Mission has concluded and Afghanistan has taken full responsibility for its own security.
We have launched our Resolute Support Mission, to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces.
We have continued our support to the financial sustainment of the Afghan security forces.
And we have agreed to enhance long-term Enduring Partnership with Afghanistan, including through a civilian-led presence.
The security situation remains difficult, as we have seen, for example, earlier this week in Kabul. We commend the professionalism of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces. And we honour their sacrifices.
We continue to stand with them and support their future development.
Today, we will discuss the progress of our Resolute Support mission.
We will also assess the current security and political situation.
And we will look to the future:
To how we will evolve our Resolute Support Mission.
To how we will continue to support the Afghan Security Forces through capacity building and institutional development.
Together, NATO, our partners and the government of Afghanistan have achieved a great deal.
The future of Afghanistan lies in the hands of the Afghan people. And we remain committed to supporting them every step of the way.
And now I thank the representatives of the media for being here and we close this public part of the meeting. So thank you.