Brussels, 20 May 2016
Mr. Secretary General,
My good friend and dear brother Minister Rabbani,
Colleagues and friends,
Azerbaijan stands firmly together with Afghanistan on its path towards stability and self-reliance.
Today, the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces assumed full responsibility for security throughout Afghanistan, following the conclusion of the ISAF mission. However, we recognize that the country remains challenged and we should all do more with our Afghan friends. Azerbaijan is committed to continue its efforts to this end and contribute significantly to the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) by providing troops, multimodal transit, training and financial assistance.
In this regard, I firmly reiterate my country’s commitments to continue its contribution to the Resolute Support Mission throughout 2016. Azerbaijan has already made relatively substantial donations to the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) Trust Fund and pledged to continue financial support to ANA Trust Fund by the end of 2017.
Moreover, Azerbaijan remains committed to a long-term political partnership and a practical cooperation with Afghanistan. After conclusion of the Resolute Support mission, my country envisages the contribution through the enhanced Enduring Partnership.
Finally, let me also stress that my country’s contribution to the stability of Afghanistan goes well beyond our involvement in NATO operations. As a country with a cultural and geographical proximity, we support Afghanistan on its path of reforms towards self-reliant future by enhancing practical contributions in the areas of education and training, infrastructure and transport development, investments, increasing role of women in society. As being a critical piece of the New Silk Road, Azerbaijan will link Afghanistan and Europe to support Afghanistan’s sustainable future.