NATO Secretary General visits different regions in Afghanistan
NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, visited different regions during his farewell trip to Afghanistan from 17 to 19 June 2009.
NATO Secretary General visits a girls school in Chagcharan
On 18 June 2009, the Secretary General visited the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Chagcharan, Regional Command West, where he hailed efforts invested in the province under the Lithuanian leadership since 2006. Accompanied by the Governor of Ghowr Province Said Mohammad Munib, he visited a civil servants training centre and a girls school. “I have come here representing 28 NATO countries and the 42 nations from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), to reaffirm our long term commitment with Afghanistan”, NATO Secretary General told Ghowr Province Governor Munib, “rest assured that ISAF will do everything it can to allow reconstruction and development to speed up alongside the military effort”.
The Secretary General also met with the Japanese development advisors and thanked Japan for its considerable support to the reconstruction of Afghanistan through the NATO-Japan Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GAGP) scheme.
The Secretary General then headed to Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan, Regional Command South, where he enjoyed a last walkabout with the Dutch and the Australian troops, congratulating them for their tremendous job in often difficult and dangerous conditions, alongside units from the Afghan National Army.
De Hoop Scheffer seized the opportunity for an exchange of views with Governor Hamdam of Uruzgan province and UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) representative Gregory Raikes.
The Secretary Generally finally flew to Patrol Base Buman to pay tribute to Australia’s dedication and commitment to the ISAF mission, highlighting the effort of the main non-NATO contributor to ISAF.
Throughout his two-day visit, the Secretary General met with a number of Afghan local representatives, as well as with presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani. The Secretary General called on all Afghans to participate in the forthcoming elections, as these will be a crucial milestone in paving the way for Afghanistan’s long-term stability.