Estonia outlines Afghanistan security plans

  • 2013-12-05
  • From wire reports, TALLINN

Estonia will pour around 376,000 euros from 2015-2017 into security operations in Afghanistan, foreign minister Urmas Paet has said.

"Estonia is ready to participate in the follow-up mission and will support the Afghan armed forces with 500,000 dollars per year in the period 2015-2017," he said.

"The presence of international support in Afghanistan depends primarily on the signing of a broad-based security agreement between the US and Afghanistan, which President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly delayed. If a security agreement is not reached before the May 2014 elections, NATO will not have enough time to prepare the legal basis for planning the mission after the end of 2014.

Paet added: "NATO’s support to Afghanistan after the end of the ISAF mission depends on Afghan leaders,"

Estonian troops will remain in Afghanistan until mid-2014 as part of the plans, a statement from the Estonian Foreign Ministry said.

"The last Estonian infantry brigade began its tour of duty in November. Estonia will share with its allies and partners the complete responsibility of ensuring security during the election period in Afghanistan, which begins in May 2014," confirmed Paet.

The comments follow a NATO meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels. The  meeting featured discussions about Afghanistan, keeping in mind that the ISAF mission, which has been the largest NATO-led operation, has lasted for 13 years and will end in December 2014. In order to ensure Afghanistan’s sustainable development, the allies and NATO partner countries want to launch a training and support mission in the beginning of 2015.