February 24, 2018: Joint Statement from the NATO Framework Nations in Afghanistan

Joint Statement from the NATO Framework Nations in Afghanistan

Resolute Support Headquarters, Afghanistan

24 February 2018

 

Thank you very much, Ambassador Zimmermann. I am very pleased to be here with all of my colleagues and all four of us have worked together on a joint statement which I’m proud to be able to read.

On behalf of the Ambassadors of the Framework Nations: Germany, Italy, Turkey, and the United States. We want to thank General Scaparrotti, and General Nicholson, and Ambassador Zimmermann for their enormous contributions to the security and stability of Afghanistan.

We come after visits with the troops out in the field. For two days, we have been to the TAAC bases and on a day, unfortunately, where yet another suicide bomber has attempted to prevent peace in this country. We strongly condemn any act, any form of terrorism and we are fully committed to continue our engagement in support of Afghanistan.

This will be one of our top priorities at the Brussels Summit. The Alliance is committed to ensuring our military and civilian leaders on the ground have the necessary forces and resources to carry out this critical mission. This trip reinforces our commitment, not only to the Resolute Support Mission, but also to our troops and diplomats who work tirelessly to support the Afghan government and to keep our Nations safe.

Together with my colleagues from Brussels, we are resolute in what this mission represents: training, advising and assisting the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in their fight to make sure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists. At the same time, a political process towards peace and reconciliation is required so that one day Afghanistan will be free of terrorism and violence.

In our meetings with NATO commanders in Kabul, Herat, and Mazar-i-Sharif, we were encouraged by the progress that we saw building in capacity and capabilities of the Afghan security forces. We also were encouraged by our discussions with President Ghani, Minister of Defense Bahrami, Minister of Interior Barmak, and NDS Director Stanekzai, and NSA Atmar. We commend the efforts by President Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah, and the National Unity Government to chart a course for upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections. We also commend efforts to initiate an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process that we fully support. We acknowledge the need for more progress and encourage all political leaders across Afghanistan to demonstrate their commitment to be responsible actors in a democratic society.

The way ahead will not be easy, but the Framework Nations are confident that NATO’s conditions-based approach will help the people of Afghanistan open a new chapter in their history. Thank you.