KABUL - Believing they have still work to do, NATO allies and ISAF partners on Wednesday said they would continue to stand by Afghanistan after the mission ends in December 2014.
NATO defense ministers, who met for a second day in the Belgium capital of Brussels, discussed with their Afghan counterpart progress in Afghanistan and planning for the post-2014 mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces.
“We have moved closer to putting that mission in place. Our military commanders have reviewed planning and identified in broad terms the key elements we require to set up the mission,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in his remarks.
Afghan forces took the lead for providing security nation-wide in June and they had shown they were up to the job, Rasmussen remarked.
He said Afghan forces were currently leading more than 1,000 patrols a day and planning and conducting complex operations in all parts of the country.
The NATO chief said Afghan forces were developing their skills in areas such as helicopter air support in order to achieve the best possible position from which they would assume full responsibility for security at the end of 4014.
As the defense Ministers moved ahead in their planning for the NATO-led post 2014 Resolute Support mission, Rasmussen said “We still have to do work”.
ISAF defense ministers also discussed next year’s elections in Afghanistan, which will be fully led and managed by the Afghans. “We expect those elections to be transparent, inclusive and credible,” Rasmussen said.
They also reviewed the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. That review has been published. It sets out the areas where NATO is doing well and areas where more work is needed.
Afghan Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi attended the meeting, as well as representatives from the European Union and the United Nations. (Pajhwok)