NATO countries defence chiefs on Wednesday discussed post-2014 mission in Afghanistan and the April presidential elections as they met for a two-day annual meeting in the Belgium capital.
In his opening remarks, the alliance Military Committee Chairman, Gen. Knud Bartels told the 170th meeting that a challenging year was ahead for the alliance:
He said they should continue to deliver success on current operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo and NATO’s maritime missions given the current threat to global security. “Now is not a time for complacency or a lack of resolve.”
Gen. Knud Bartels said at the meeting they would meet with partners from the mission in Afghanistan and would be briefed by NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative in the country and ISAF commander.
He said in the last 11 months of ISAF operation in Afghanistan, NATO remained committed to developing Afghan forces.
He said the meeting would take stock of the process, with a particular focus on preparations for the Afghan presidential elections and the alliance’s post-2014 mission.
He said NATO was currently working with Afghan authorities to establish legal framework for its future mission. “We will continue to develop our plans so that we are ready to deliver when required,” he said of Afghanistan.
“Today, we will therefore take stock of our planning and preparation for the delivery on the Train Advise and Assist Mission after 2014, to support the continuing development of credible, capable and sustainable Afghan security forces.”
Gen. Bartels said NATO would also seek an agreement on a work plan for cooperation in 2014 and consider some practical examples of cooperation between NATO and Russia through the Cooperative Airspace Initiative and the implementation of the Afghanistan Helicopter Trust Fund.