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NATO defense ministers confirm enduring support for Afghanistan

By U.S. Central Command News Release

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June 25, 2015 — BRUSSELS, June 25, 2015 – NATO defense ministers today confirmed their enduring support for Afghanistan during a ministerial meeting here of Resolute Support nations.

Resolute Support is the name of the NATO mission in Afghanistan. It provides training, advice and assistance for Afghan security forces and institutions and has about 13,000 troops from about 40 countries.

Meeting with Afghan Acting Minister of Defence Masoom Stanekzai, the ministers reviewed the security situation and the first six months of the Resolute Support mission. While noting that “it has been a challenging time,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that the Afghan forces “have dealt with this effectively,” demonstrating “exemplary courage, determination and commitment.” The secretary general reaffirmed that the Alliance will continue to support Afghanistan in the years ahead, saying “NATO and our partners stand with Afghanistan.”

Ministers welcomed the Afghan government’s ambitious program of reforms and encouraged them to implement these quickly and thoroughly. “They are determined to bring peace to their country,” said Stoltenberg, adding “we strongly support the Afghan government in their efforts.”

Recalling the decision made by foreign ministers in May to support Afghanistan’s security institutions after the end of the Resolute Support mission, Stoltenberg said, “We have confirmed our commitment to a civilian-led presence” in order to “further develop Afghan security institutions.”

Calling this a “time of changes and challenges,” the secretary general concluded “together, we will rise to the challenges and we will stand together.”