BRUSSELS (Pajhwok): President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah met foreign ministers from NATO from 2015 and issued the following joint statement:
- In a spirit of common understanding, we welcome the successful conclusion of the Presidential Elections and a constitutional political transition in Afghanistan, and the establishment of the National Unity Government which has shown its determination to implement urgently needed reforms, including advancing women’s rights and empowerment. We also welcome Afghanistan’s signature and ratification of the Status of Forces Agreement with NATO and the Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States.
- We honour the joint sacrifices made and applaud the results achieved over more than a decade, during which we have stood shoulder to shoulder to maintain and enhance security, and in support of international efforts to root out terrorism in Afghanistan. We note with great satisfaction that Afghan leaders have voiced their support for the declaration on Afghanistan made at the Wales Summit in September 2014. We will work together to carry forward our partnership and, with the wider international community, to continue to promote security, peace, development, human rights and rule of law in Afghanistan.
- The Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) are currently in the lead for security throughout Afghanistan. From January 2015, they will have assumed full responsibility for security throughout Afghanistan and the nature and scope of NATO’s support to Afghanistan will change. Today, we agree to launch the Resolute Support Mission on 1 January 2015. This new non-combat mission will train, advise and assist the ANDSF.
- Since the Wales Summit, when pledges for the sustainment of the ANDSF were confirmed, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and donors have reviewed and agreed to contribute to ANDSF funding requirements for 2015. Arrangements continue to be put in place to ensure transparency, accountability and cost effectiveness of contributions.
- We agree to strengthen our Enduring Partnership. We will do this by enhancing practical cooperation, including building the capacity of Afghan security institutions, and by initiating political dialogue and regular consultations on a range of topics of mutual interest. We will also set up a senior level joint task force that will take this relationship forward.
- It is our common understanding that the above mutually-reinforcing strands of NATO’s engagement represent a significant continuing commitment and practical support by Allies and partners to Afghanistan. Today, we are proud to have started together a new chapter in our relationship.