Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani on Saturday said training and supporting Afghan National Security and Defence Forces (ANSDF) was his government top demand in the recently held NATO’s foreign ministers meeting, which was accepted.
A two-day NATO foreign ministers meeting was held in the Turkish city of Antalya where it was decided the alliance would have a civil-military presence in Afghanistan beyond its current Resolute Support (RS) mission in 2016.
The mission for the first time would be civilian-led, but would also have a military contingent. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said a group of civil-military experts were tasked to draw out details of the mission. Rabbani told journalists here that NATO’s current mission was evaluated in the meeting and the mission was called a success.
He added Afghanistan would also benefit from Enduring Partnership beyond RS mission which would be a big achievement for the country. “With regard to the new threats, it was decided for the first time to have NATO’s presence beyond 2016 in Enduring Partnership form,” said Rabbani. Keeping in view the country and region’s situation, he added, Afghanistan had specific demands in the meeting, including further training and support of Afghan air force and other forces that was accepted in principle.
He said further details would come in next year’s meeting. According to Rabbani, the meeting also announced support for an Afghan-led peace process. It was also insisted that Taliban should suspend relations with international terrorism and accept Afghanistan’s constitution, he concluded.