Mon, Sep

‘We will reconfirm strong commitment to Afghanistan’: Stoltenberg


The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that the alliance will reconfirm strong commitment to Afghanistan during the alliance’s foreign ministerial in Brussels. “The ministerial will close with a meeting on Afghanistan and our Resolute Support mission.

 We will reconfirm our strong commitment to Afghanistan’s security and we will get an update on the government’s reform agenda, which is essential for Afghanistan’s long-term stability and prosperity,” Stoltenberg said. The NATO Secretary General further added “Today and tomorrow, NATO’s Foreign Ministers will address some of the security challenges we are all facing and we will do that by addressing a wide range of the issues but at the core of the meeting is the importance of the transatlantic bond, the bond between Europe and North America. One way of strengthening the bond between North America and Europe is by strengthening the cooperation between NATO and EU. And we have a momentum now when it comes to NATO-EU cooperation. In July, I signed a Joint Declaration with Presidents Tusk and Juncker and at the meeting today we will decide how we turn that declaration into concrete action.” Stoltenberg said Monday that the alliance will discuss the progress made in boosting the capacity of their neighbours to the east and to the south, including our support to the Counter-ISIL Coalition, training of Iraqi officers, and alliance’s new Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean. He said NATO has many years of experience in projecting stability in the Western Balkans and in Afghanistan. This comes as the Secretary General said late in October that the presence of the loyalists of the Islamic State Of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Afghanistan is underlining the importance of the NATO in the country.  “Our presence in Afghanistan, NATO’s biggest military operation ever is, of course, part of our efforts to fight international terrorism and we also see an ISIL present in Afghanistan which is just underlining the importance of our presence there.”