09/11/2017 16:01

NATO Ministers boost troops for Afghan training mission

The United States briefed on its new South Asia strategy, under which its troop numbers in Afghanistan have increased.  27 other nations have also said they will increase their troop numbers in the coming months. As a result, NATO’s Resolute Support Mission will increase from around 13,000 to around 16,000 troops. “I strongly welcome the strengthened commitment and support demonstrated by Allies and partners,” said the Secretary General.

Defence Ministers from NATO Allies and partner nations also confirmed they will continue the fund the Afghan security forces until at least 2020.  In addition to a significant financial contribution from the United States, “other NATO Allies and partners will continue to provide almost a billion US dollars each year to the Afghan defence and security forces,” added Mr Stoltenberg.

Ministers were joined by Afghanistan’s Acting Defence Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami, who briefed on ongoing reforms, including on good governance, the rule of law, fighting corruption, and protecting the rights of all Afghans, including women and girls.

Mr Stoltenberg said that NATO continues to support an Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process. “We welcome the Kabul Process initiative launched by President Ghani earlier this year.  And we urge all regional and international actors to support this process.”

The Secretary General was speaking following the meeting of Resolute Support Mission defence ministers at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.