NATO Secretary General: We will continue to support Afghan security forces
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed NATO’s commitment to Afghanistan’s security upon arrival at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan on Wednesday (5 October 2016). He stressed that the efforts of the international community to promote Afghanistan’s development and NATO’s efforts to strengthen security go hand in hand. “Without security there can be no lasting development and without development there can be no lasting security,” he said.
Mr. Stoltenberg underlined the Alliance’s commitment to support Afghan security forces. At the Warsaw Summit, Allies agreed to sustain NATO’s Resolute Support Mission beyond 2016, with around 13000 troops, and continue to fund the Afghan army and security forces to 2020. The Secretary General highlighted that recent fighting in Kunduz and Helmand demonstrates the importance of training local Afghan forces.
Addressing conference participants, the Secretary General paid tribute to the bravery of Afghan security forces and all those serving as part of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission. He encouraged the international community to continue to support the government of Afghanistan and urged the Afghan leadership to stand strong and united, and implement necessary reforms.
Focusing on recent peace efforts, Mr. Stoltenberg said he was greatly encouraged by the agreement between the Afghan Government and Hezb-i-Islami. “This is an important step forward in the peace and reconciliation process and essential for a credible long-term peace deal,” he added.