KABUL - British, Danish and Estonian defense ministers on Thursday reaffirmed their long-term commitment to cooperate with Afghan security forces even beyond 2014.
UK Defense Secretary Liam Fox, Danish Defense Minister GitteLillelundBech and Estonian Defense Minister JaakAaviksoo on Wednesday touched down in Afghanistan to hold meetings with officials in Kabul to discuss security.
British Defense Secretary Liam Fox said the United Kingdom is interested to bolster trainings to Afghan security forces rather than establishment of permanent military bases in the country.
After 2014 British troops will shift combat to training role and by the end of 2014 Afghan security forces should grow enough potential to ensure security of their nation, Liam Fox said.
The defense ministers are visiting Afghanistan at a time as the country is preparing to witness the beginning of one of the biggest changes in security lead since the outbreak of combat in 2001.
We want to continue with the training role in Afghanistan," Liam Fox told reporters. "I have been visiting as we all have the NATO training mission. We have all just been at the NATO summit in Brussels where we all emphasized to our colleagues the need to reinvest what is currently our combat capability into a training capability."
Mr. Fox highlighted the need for building up skills and capability of Afghan security forces.
"While, it's very clear that we intent to come out of combat role, this does not signal out our disengagement with Afghanistan. We are committed to the long-term security of the people of this country," Mr Fox said.
Danish Defense Minister GitteLillelundBech said the end of 2014 does not mark the end of Danish cooperation with Afghanistan.
"After 2014 from Danish prospective we don't expect to have battle groups, but we still expect to have trainers," She said.
"I think one of the important messages is also that after 2014 we are still in need to have trainers in the Helmand province," she further said.
The visits come as Afghan security forces are preparing to begin carrying the burden of security in some parts of the country in a couple of weeks. (Tolo News)