The European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini has said that security and development in Afghanistan is good for all the countries in the region, the Afghan media reported on Friday.
Talking to media after attending the NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels, Mogherini said she sees a commitment in the Afghan government’s leadership.
“Perspectives (in Afghanistan) are as always difficult, but I see a committed leadership, I see a country that is ready to turn the page and that needs all the international and regional support. And I see also regional partners that are ready to engage, to support this process, because I think everybody realizes that peace and security in Afghanistan and development in Afghanistan is something good also for all the countries in the region,” she stated.
NATO has agreed at the defense ministers meeting of the alliance to send more troops to Afghanistan in order to help train and work alongside the Afghan security forces.
Meanwhile, French Defense Minister Florence Parly said she could not yet “give a precise answer” in relation to France's potential commitment.
“I do not have the answer to this very very precise question. We have participated and invested a lot in the French presence in Afghanistan in the recent years, now we are entering a new phase with a bilateral friendship treaty with Afghanistan, but I know that this is part of the questions we will have to examine shortly,” she added.
On Thursday night, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO and its allies have reconfirmed their commitment to Afghanistan and that they will sustain Resolute Support Mission beyond 2017.
Speaking at a press conference after Thursday’s defense ministers meeting in Brussels, he said, “Our military authorities have requested a few thousand more troops for the mission and today, I can confirm that we will increase our presence in Afghanistan.”
“We have recently seen brutal attacks in Kabul. In recent months, hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed. This is exactly why our presence is so important. So today, we reconfirmed our enduring commitment to Afghanistan. We will sustain our Resolute Support Mission beyond 2017,” he said.
NATO currently has 13,500 troops in Afghanistan in the Resolute Support mission to “train, advise and assist” Afghan troops. Reports indicate that an increase of up to 3,000 was under considerations, while U.S officials say it might be nearer 4,000.
The United States, which once had more than 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, is preparing a new strategy for a war which has dragged on for 16 years and which even US generals concede is a “stalemate” at best.