July 9, 2016: NATO Secretary General Opening Remarks at NAC Press Conference

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Opening Remarks

Following the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council

at the Level of Heads of State and Government

in Resolute Support Format

July 9, 2016


Good morning.

We have just finished a productive meeting with all nations contributing to our Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.

Together with President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah we discussed the security situation, the Afghan Government’s reforms and our continued partnership.

Afghanistan is making progress.  And that progress must continue. Especially when it comes to respect for human rights, anti-corruption and electoral reforms.  Working towards reconciliation should also be a priority. The Afghan security forces are now responsible for security across the whole country. They are defending the Afghan people with dedication and courage. We continue to train, advise and assist them. But Afghanistan still faces serious instability and violence.  So our continued political, military and financial engagement is of great importance.

That is why we took three decisions today:

First, we agreed to sustain our Resolute Support Mission beyond 2016. Through a flexible, regional model. And I thanked President Obama for his significant decision on troop levels. I also commended the other framework nations Germany, Italy and Turkey – and all other Allies and partners that contribute to the mission – for their strong commitment to our mission. Additional planning will be conducted in the coming months to define our overall presence in 2017.

Second, we reviewed firm national commitments to continue funding for the Afghan security forces through 2020.

And third, we reaffirmed our support for a long-term political partnership and practical cooperation with Afghanistan.

So our message is clear: Afghanistan does not stand alone. And we are committed for the long haul.

With that, I am ready to take your questions.