KABUL (Pajhwok): NATO has launched a military training program for soldiers from Afghanistan in Turkey, Turkish media reported on Thursday.
This marks the first military training program outside the country for soldiers from Afghanistan after the end of the NATO training mission there.
According to information from Ankara, members of the Afghan Special Forces were flown to Turkey on Wednesday for a training course. It is supposed to be the prelude to regular training programs outside Afghanistan.
NATO, however, did not provide information about where Afghan Special Forces will be trained but it said: “NATO’s continued support to Afghanistan includes out-of-country training for Afghan Special Forces. This training has now begun. For security reasons, we will not go into the details of our out-of-country training for Afghan special forces.”
Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated NATO’s continued support for Afghanistan in a call with President Ashraf Ghani on 27 July, noting that this will include funding, civilian presence, and out-of-country training
The basis of the continued NATO support for the Afghan government’s troops is a decision by the heads of state and government of the 30 alliance countries.
They had assured the country at their summit meeting in June that they would continue to provide assistance even after the end of the military mission.
“We affirm our commitment to continue to stand with Afghanistan, its people, and its institutions in promoting security and upholding the hard-won gains of the last 20 years,” the final declaration said.
During the summit, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg had said that some NATO allies, including Turkey and the United States, are in an ongoing dialogue over the situation in Afghanistan.
The issue of Afghanistan was one of the main topics to be discussed at the NATO summit. Under the February 2020 deal secured with the Taliban under former President Donald Trump, all US forces were to leave Afghanistan by May 1 but Biden in April postponed the pullout to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, the al-Qaida attacks on the U.S. that prompted.