Afghanistan Supports Plan to Send New NATO Forces to Country: Foreign Minister of Afghanistan
Azerbaijan, Baku, 17 April /corr. Trend D.Khatinoglu / Official Kabul supports NATO's decision to send 2,000 more peacekeepers to Afghanistan, but also considers it important to form their own National Army.
"We support the decision to send 2,000 more peacekeepers to Afghanistan to accelerate this process. However, the main issue is to accelerate training and equipment of our security forces so that they have much opportunities and can gain full control on our fight against terrorism," the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, said in his exclusive interview with Trend .
On 4 April, the NATO summit in Bucharest made a decision to increase the number of foreign peacekeepers in Afghanistan by nearly 2,000. The Alliance plans to establish an effective Afghan Army comprising of about 80,000 soldiers by 2010 and gradually replace the coalition forces with the local soldiers, Associated Press reported.
"Islamic Republic of Afghanistan needs long support of the international community, including NATO, to bring its forces to the necessary level, ensure successful process of peace establishment in the Country and stability in the national security," Dadfar said.
He added that the universal strategy covering military and civil spheres is very important for fighting against terrorism. He is glad that this process was approved and supported in NATO Bucharest summit.
"Afghanistan is located on the forward front of fight against terrorism, which is considered as a serious regional and international problem," the Foreign Minister said. "We consider it quite necessary the support from the international community, which also includes Islamic world, their co-operation with the Afghan forces to gain victory over terrorism and ensure security," he added.
During the NATO summit, which ended on 4 April, France offered sending its 700 servicemen to Afghanistan, Georgia - 500, Poland - 400 servicemen and 8 helicopters, the Czech Republic- 120, Azerbaijan - 45, New Zeeland - 18. At present, there are 47,000 servicemen from 26 NATO countries in Afghanistan.
The number of Azerbaijani peacekeepers in Afghanistan totals 45. Azerbaijani soldiers serve through peacekeeping forces of Turkey.