From the event

19-21 Feb. 2008

NATO ambassadors see progress
in Afghanistan

The North Atlantic Council completed a three day visit to Afghanistan on 21 February 2008.

“The visit provided the NATO Allies a great opportunity to take stock of progress in Afghanistan as we approach the NATO summit in Bucharest,” said NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

Led by the NATO Secretary General and accompanied by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General John Craddock, and the Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, the Council met with General Dan McNeill, the NATO Commander of ISAF (COMISAF), and members of the international community in Kabul.

The Council travelled to Regional Commands South and West to visit ISAF troops and local Afghan officials and they received progress reports in the provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, Herat, Farah and Badghis.

During a visit to the district centre of Musa Qala, which was recently liberated from Taliban control, the Secretary General and SACEUR were joined by the Regional Command South Commander, Major General Marc Lessard. The local ISAF commander and a representative from the international donor community briefed them on the security situation and measures to provide reconstruction and development to the district. In addition, they met with the District Governor and former Taliban commander, Mullah Salaam, for an exchange of views on improving governance in the district.

On 21 February the Council exchanged views with a delegation of Afghan parliamentarians, led by Speaker Younis Qanooni, and met with President Hamid Karzai to get an appreciation of the overall situation in Afghanistan. 

Earlier the Council was updated on the development of the Afghan National Security Forces from Major General Cone, Commander of the US-led Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan (CSTC-A), Major General Herman Van der Til, Commander of the Directorate for ANA Training and Equipment Support (DATES),  and Mr. Jürgen Scholz, Commander of the EU police mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL).

The NATO Secretary General was not disappointed: “Discussions with ISAF from General McNeill down to the ISAF task force commander in Musa Qala, and with our Afghan hosts from President Karzai to Mula Salaam, the District Governor of Musa Qala, left us with a clear sense that we are making progress,” he said.

The Council clearly conveyed NATO’s strong and enduring commitment to Afghanistan. We have much work still to do, but together with the Afghan Government and our international community partners, I am confident we will succeed.