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NATO Leaders Reaffirm Continued Support to ANSF
NATO Leaders Reaffirm Continued Support to ANSF

Afghan Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi said the NATO Leaders at the Wales summit on Thursday reaffirmed their commitment in supporting the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in maintaining Afghanistan's achievements.

"We raised the issues and challenges our forces are faced with and called on the heads of NATO to address them," Mohammadi said at the Wales summit. "I am really thankful to all who reaffirmed their commitments to the ANSF beyond 2014."

Secretary General of NATO AndersFogh Rasmussen said that NATO is committed to their financial promises made to the ANSF and that after the planned withdrawal at the end of 2014 NATO forces will have an advising and training role in Afghanistan.

"We are committed to our Chicago pledge of $4.1 billion to fund the ANSF until 2017."

He went on to add that NATO has achieved its "overall goal in Afghanistan: It is no longer a safe haven for terrorists."

The NATO-Afghanistan ties are said to continue in three specific areas: training mission, financial assistance to ANSF and enduring partnership.

The Wales summit declaration on Afghanistan stated that, "NATO allies and partner nations stand ready to continue to train, advise and assist the ANSF after 2014 through a new, non-combat mission with a sound legal basis."

The declaration stated that NATO allies and ISAF partners will "contribute to the financial sustainment of the ANSF" until the end of 2017, emphasizing that, "agreed at Chicago, Afghanistan should assume, no later than 2024, full financial responsibility for its own security forces."

"In the long term, NATO allies remain committed to the NATO-Afghanistan Enduring Partnership...strengthening of this partnership will reflect the changing nature of NATO's relationship with Afghanistan."

During the summit, Rasmussen called on the two Afghan presidential candidates to quickly deliver an outcome to the prolonged elections, adding that NATO is "determined to support Afghans in their efforts to build a sovereign and democratic country."

Mohammadi, during the conference, said that a letter was received from the presidential hopefuls, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, stating that they have reached an agreement on the formation of the national unity government.

The letter from the presidential candidates was read out loud at the summit. The letter reiterated that a national unity government will be formed and the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) will be signed-an agreement that will allow a number of U.S. and NATO forces to stay post-2014 in Afghanistan, but is in contingent to the signing of the BSA.

ISAF is set to drawdown troops at the end of 2014 as planned and is to begin a new guidance and training initiative to continue supporting the ANSF.

Currently, there are about 50,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan

LINK: http://ansarpress.com/english/2383







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