Members of a U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan reaffirmed on Monday their commitment to help rebuild Afghanistan into a viable, peaceful, and functional state during a decade following the withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014.
In a final declaration on Afghanistan issued on Monday after a NATO summit in Chicago, the members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) promised that “Afghanistan will not stand alone” in its fight against terrorism, corruption and underdevelopment in the period after 2014, when Afghan National Security Forces are expected to assume full responsibility for security in the country from international troops.
The document said “substantial progress” has been made in improving security, education, health care, as well as the economic and human rights situation in Afghanistan over the past decade.
“The completion of transition, however, will not mean the end of the International Community’s commitment to Afghanistan’s stability and development,” the statement said.
The ISAF allies agreed to work towards establishing a new NATO-led mission to support Afghanistan after 2014 and “ensure that the new mission has a sound legal basis, such as a United Nations Security Council Resolution.”
The document also confirmed that supporting a force of some 230,000 Afghan security personnel will require $4.1 billion a year, but said the volume of foreign aid “will be reviewed regularly against the developing security environment.”
The Afghan government’s yearly contribution to the security budget “will increase progressively from at least $500 million in 2015,” and the Afghans are expected to assume full financial responsibility for the country’s security forces “no later than 2024.”
Russia will keep providing aid to Afghan security forces, but on a bilateral basis, Russia’s presidential envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said, adding that the terms of such cooperation would be agreed upon “based on our direct consultations with Kabul.”
The diplomat, who represented Russia at the Chicago talks, also said Moscow was open for cooperation with other countries in producing and transporting military equipment to Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government said on Monday it was ready to provide $500,000 to Afghanistan annually in 2015-2017. A relevant presidential decree was approved by the cabinet earlier in the day.