Address by Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan
NATO RS Ministerial, Brussels, 1-2 December 2015
Mr. Secretary General,
Colleagues and friends,
First of all, let me wholeheartedly welcome Minister Rabbani. He represents the National Unity Government, which together with the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces plays a critical role for the successful future of Afghanistan.
Today, Afghanistan 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 Resolute Support Mission with the same troop number throughout 2016. In addition, Azerbaijan has already made one million Euros donations to the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) Trust Fund and pledged 2 million Euros to ANA Trust Fund by the end of 2017. The first tranche was already transferred to the NATO ANA Trust Fund.
Moreover, I would like to emphasize our principled agreement to join NATO’s enhanced Enduring Partnership mission after completion of RSM.
Finally, let me also stress that my country’s contribution to the stability of Afghanistan goes well beyond our involvement in NATO operations. We support Afghanistan on its path of reforms towards self-reliance by enhancing practical contributions in the areas of education and training, infrastructure and transport development, investments, and through financial aid. Azerbaijan is a critical piece of the New Silk Road, which will link Afghanistan to Europe, thus, opening a lifeline for Afghanistan’s sustainable future.