Resolute Support Foreign Ministers Statement on Afghanistan (Noticias de la OTAN)

  1. We, the Foreign Ministers of the nations contributing to the Resolute Support Mission, met today in Brussels to reaffirm our steadfast commitment to ensuring long-term security and stability in Afghanistan. We express our utmost appreciation for the crucial contribution of the men and women serving in our Resolute Support Mission and in the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces. We pay tribute to those who have lost their lives or have been wounded in support of a better future for Afghanistan.
  2. We reaffirm the decisions taken at our Summit in July 2018 on our continued support to Afghanistan, and we recall Afghanistan’s commitments, including to continue on the path to reform covering, inter alia, the promotion of human rights, good and inclusive governance, and combating corruption.

Elections

  1. As the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is taking further steps to create stability and security, and to promote peace, Afghanistan has entered a critical phase in building and consolidating democracy. We recognise the parliamentary elections held in October 2018 as a clear sign of Afghan support forthe democratic process. Voters, one third of them female, defied threats of violence and went to polling stations to shape the future of their country. This is an encouraging sign of their determination and ownership.
  2. We recognise that these elections were the first to be completely led, administered and secured by Afghans. We praise the efforts by the Afghan security forces, who provided the security required for the elections to take place, and stood firm in the face of the numerous attacks by Taliban and other insurgent groups seeking to disrupt the election and discourage Afghans from voting.
  3. We condemn in the strongest possible terms all acts of violence committed by insurgent and terrorist groups in Afghanistan before,during and after the electoral process. These forms of violence are intended to prevent the Afghan people from achieving a secure and peaceful future.
  4. We recognise the important steps taken by the Afghan authorities to make these elections more transparent, credible and secure. Afghanistan, for the first time, used polling centre-based voter registration. However, there were significant shortcomings, and organisational changes are required prior to holding the presidential election next year.We specificallycall upon the Afghan authorities to address the problems caused by fraud and procedural weaknesses, and to update and audit voter registration databases for the affected provinces. We encourage all stakeholders to engage in the process fairly and in good faith. Successful elections will further reinforce Afghanistan’s path towards stability, security and peace.

Peace

  1. With the historic ceasefire during Eid al-Fitr, the people of Afghanistan have shown the world that they want peace, and that the violence can be stopped. We welcome the Afghan government’s unprecedented offer of unconditional peace talks with the Taliban, and we fully support their aim to end the conflict by reaching an inclusive peace agreement based on national consensus. We emphasize the particular importance of fully including women in political, peace and reconciliation processes. We commend the Afghan government’s continued commitment to the peace process and encourage continued efforts to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are fully represented and included.
  2. We remind the Taliban that they will never achieve their ambitions through fighting and emphasise that there is no military solution to the conflict. The Taliban must join their fellow Afghans, including the Government of Afghanistan, at the negotiating table, and play a meaningful rolein an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led political process that results in a mutual understanding about the future of their country.
  3. Recognising the contributions and sacrifices made, NATO Allies and Operational Partners will respect and support an inclusive, negotiated and durable political settlement led by Afghans, which ends violence, ensures Afghanistan is never again used as a platform for terrorist attacks against any other country,and protects the human rights of all Afghan citizens, notably those of women and children in accordance with the Afghan constitutionand international norms and standards. NATO Allies and Operational Partners acknowledgethat the future militaryrole of the international community in Afghanistan will be among the issues to be discussed in an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. We affirm our support for the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan to initiate negotiations for a political settlement and the initiative ofthe United States Government, led by Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad, to bring the parties into negotiations to achieve a political settlement.
  4. A stable, peaceful and secure Afghanistan that is safe from the threat of terrorism is in the shared interest of the Alliance and the entire region. Regional actors have the means to foster peace and stability in Afghanistan and we welcome their support for a negotiated political solution, as was stated on 28 November during the Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan. We encourage Afghanistan’s neighbours to contribute to regional stability by respecting and fully supporting an Afghan peace and reconciliation process, and by providing support for Afghan economic development. We also note and support regionally owned and led efforts to achieve economic stability and development through the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process, and the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan. We also urge Afghanistan’s neighbours to deny any form of support for the insurgency.

Taking note of the fact that success will require continued financial and logistical backing,NATO Allies and Operational Partners remain firmly committed to sustaining and bolstering the Afghan forces’ capabilities to eliminate the threat of terrorism in all its forms in order to provide security for Afghan citizens and stability in the region.

 

NATO Update de 24.08.2018

Commander-designate of NATO Mission Iraq announced

Canada’s Department of National Defence announced on Wednesday (22 August 2018) that Major-General Dany Fortin has been selected to lead the new NATO Mission Iraq. Launched at the Brussels Summit in July, the mission builds on NATO’s efforts to train the Iraqi forces as they work to prevent the re-emergence of ISIS and other terrorist groups. Led by Canada, NATO’s non-combat mission will include hundreds of trainers, and will also involve setting up military schools to increase the professionalism of the Iraqi forces.

Allies to receive first shipment of Precision Guided Munitions acquired through NATO

Today (22 August 2018), the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) received the first lot of Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs) acquired through a NATO project involving 11 Allies and one NATO partner.

NATO and Japan conduct exercise in the Baltic Sea

Naval forces from Standing NATO Maritime Group One conducted a passing exercise with a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force squadron in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday (21 August 2018). NATO ships sailed alongside cadet training vessel JS Kashima and destroyer JS Makinami for the drills.

Marines advise Afghan partners in Sangin

U.S. Marine Corps advisors with Task Force Southwest and Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers with 2nd Brigade, Afghan National Army 215th Corps, partnered for an advisory mission at Camp Nolay in Sangin district, August 1-16. (Courtesy of Resolute Support Mission)

Belgium and Germany to take over NATO’s Baltic Air Policing

The 48th rotation of detachments contributing to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission is imminent. From September 2018, the Belgian Air Force will take the lead over the mission at Šiauliai, Lithuania, while the German Air Force will augment out of Ämari, Estonia. (Courtesy of Allied Air Command)

Joint Statement on the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan

 

  1. We, the Heads of State and Government of the nations contributing to the Resolute Support Mission, and the President of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, met today in Brussels to reaffirm our shared commitment to Afghanistan’s long-term security and stability. The people of Afghanistan demand peace and we are encouraged by the momentum building in that direction. We remain united in our commitment to help Afghanistan attain it.
  2. We pay tribute to the sacrifice and resilience of the Afghan people who have wanted peace for many years, and to the men and women serving in the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces1 and in the Resolute Support Mission. We honour all those who have lost their lives or have been wounded in support of a better future for Afghanistan that is free from terrorism.
  3. Our shared aim remains a stable and secure Afghanistan that will never again serve as a safe haven for terrorists who threaten our shared security. Allies and Operational Partners reaffirm their commitment to the Resolute Support Mission, which trains, advises and assists the Afghan forces at the invitation of the Afghan government and with the support of the International Community as noted in UN Security Council Resolution 2189. Effective, professional, and self-sustaining Afghan forces will be better able to provide security for the country, create the conditions for a negotiated resolution of the conflict through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, and demonstrate to the Taliban that it cannot prevail through force. We welcome the progress the Afghan security institutions are making as a result of Resolute Support’s capacity-building efforts, and the Afghan-led institutional reforms which are resulting in strengthened professionalism and increased effectiveness on the battlefield. We reiterate our support for the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces Roadmap.
  4. A political solution to the conflict with the Taliban, based on national consensus, will be essential in order to achieve sustainable stability and security. NATO Allies and Operational Partners welcome the Afghan government’s unprecedented offer of unconditional peace talks to the Taliban. We fully support the Afghan government’s aim of reaching an inclusive peace agreement with the Taliban, and note with particular appreciation the outcomes of the Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation conference in Afghanistan on 28 February, and the Tashkent Conference on Afghanistan held on 26-27 March. We also commend the Afghan government’s commitment to demonstrate the benefits of peace, and its determination to advance the peace process and reduce violence through its announcement of a unilateral cease-fire in June. We note that the Taliban participated in the Eid al-Fitr cease-fire. Their leadership’s rejection of the extension proposed by the Afghan government will only result in harm to innocent Afghan citizens.
  5. We reiterate our call to the Taliban to engage credibly in the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and stress that this is the only pathway to a sustainable resolution of the conflict. NATO Allies and Operational Partners will respect and support a negotiated and durable political settlement led by Afghans which ends violence, cuts ties to terrorism and protects the human rights of all Afghan citizens, notably those of women and children. We also support the Afghan government’s intention to address all contested issues between the parties, including those relating to the future military role of the international community in Afghanistan.
  6. NATO Allies and Operational Partners strongly support the Afghan government’s determination to eliminate the threat of terrorism in all its forms, including that posed by ISIS/Daesh affiliates and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. The improvements to the Afghan forces will bolster their ability to combat those terrorist groups that pose a threat to us all.
  7. We reiterate the importance of good and inclusive governance, institution building, as well as social and economic development. The upcoming Geneva ministerial conference on Afghanistan in November 2018 will be an important opportunity to review the progress achieved, particularly the Afghan government’s commitment to accountability and reforms, and to underscore the International Community’s continued commitment to development assistance.
  8. A stable Afghanistan is in our interest and that of the entire region. Regional actors have a significant role to play in achieving peace and stabilisation in Afghanistan by fully supporting a negotiated political solution, by not lending any form of support to the insurgency, by improving conditions for Afghan economic development, and by working with the Afghan government to combat terrorism. We encourage Pakistan to continue to act on its stated support for a political solution to the conflict, to close terrorist sanctuaries and to work to prevent terrorist financial flows and cross-border attacks, including by working with its neighbours. In this regard, we welcome the finalisation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity. We call on regional actors to contribute to regional stability by fully supporting an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. NATO Allies and Partners will continue to engage constructively at the regional level.
  9. We welcome Qatar and the United Arab Emirates who are joining the Resolute Support Mission and we encourage other interested countries to contribute. This reflects the broad and continuing support by the International Community for Afghanistan’s stability, also including through the International Contact Group.
  10. NATO Allies and Operational Partners have increased force-levels to maximise theability to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces, and we announce today that we have committed to:
    • sustain the non-combat Resolute Support Mission that delivers training, advice and assistance to the Afghan security institutions and forces until conditions indicate a change in the mission is appropriate;
    • extend financial sustainment of the Afghan forces through 2024; and
    • make further progress on developing our political and practical partnership with Afghanistan, including through the Enduring Partnership.
  11. For its part Afghanistan, with the continued support of NATO Allies and Operational Partners, building on progress already made, commits to:
    • further strengthen the Afghan security institutions and forces, ensuring that they: provide security for the Afghan people; operate under effective civilian leadership complying in full with international humanitarian law; respect human rights; and act in accordance with the Afghan constitution and the rule of law;
    • continue to combat corruption, including in security structures as described in the roadmap as well as other government structures;
    • demonstrate further progress on governmental reforms such as merit-based promotion and fulfill agreed conditions related to financial support; and promote transparency, accountability and inclusivity;
    • organize and hold credible, free, fair, and inclusive parliamentary elections in 2018 and presidential elections in 2019 and vigorously address remaining organizational challenges with full respect to the independence of electoral institutions;
    • steadily increase its share of funding for the Afghan forces in furtherance of the commitments made at the Chicago Summit with the aim of attaining self-sufficiency, while recognizing that this will take some time to achieve;
    • countering narcotics trafficking;
    • promote job creation, and improve economic opportunities and service delivery to Afghan citizens;
    • build on recent efforts to empower women to participate fully in all aspects of Afghan society, including in the Afghan forces, as well as in political processes, including peace and reconciliation, and abide by commitments to fully implement Afghanistan’s National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325;
    • take further steps to protect children from the damaging effects of armed conflict and from violations of their rights, as required by UNSCR 1612 and other relevant UN Security Council resolutions, as well as ensuring the protection of civilians.
  12. Further progress on the commitments outlined above will curb violence, improve economic prospects, help set social, security and economic conditions for long-term stability and have an important impact on migration. We are encouraged by progress in Afghanistan and we will not waver in our support to the development of Afghan forces that can keep the country stable, secure, and safe from the threat of terrorism.  As we do that work, we look forward to the initiation of an inclusive,negotiated peace agreement with the Taliban that will be a victory for all Afghans.
  1. Referred to hereafter as ‘Afghan forces’.