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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: NATO Presence in Afghanistan after 2014 Depends on Afghan Leaders

04.12.2013

At the meeting of NATO foreign ministers and their counterparts in partner states participating in the ISAF operation, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet confirmed that, in accordance with its prior commitment, Estonia’s military contingent will remain in Afghanistan until mid-2014. “The last Estonian infantry brigade began its tour of duty in November. Estonia will share with its allies and partners the complete responsibility of ensuring security during the election period in Afghanistan, which begins in May 2014,” confirmed Paet.

The meeting featured discussions about Afghanistan, keeping in mind that the ISAF mission, which has been the largest NATO-led operation, has lasted for 13 years and will end in December 2014. In order to ensure Afghanistan’s sustainable development, the allies and NATO partner countries want to launch a training and support mission in the beginning of 2015. “Estonia is ready to participate in the follow-up mission and will support the Afghan armed forces with 500,000 dollars per year in the period 2015-2017.

The presence of international support in Afghanistan depends primarily on the signing of a broad-based security agreement between the US and Afghanistan, which President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly delayed. “If a security agreement is not reached before the May 2014 elections, NATO will not have enough time to prepare the legal basis for planning the mission after the end of 2014. NATO’s support to Afghanistan after the end of the ISAF mission depends on Afghan leaders,” said Paet.

During the course of the meeting, the foreign ministers of NATO member states and partner countries confirmed that it is necessary to continue efforts to ensure Afghanistan’s economic development. For this reason, the foreign ministers called on other international organisations, especially the European Union and the United Nations, to increase their contributions.

 

More info:
Marko Koplimaa
Permanent Representation of Estonia to NATO
+32 472 95 05 10 

 

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