KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani on Monday said Afghanistan achieved what it wanted to achieve at a recent NATO summit in Warsaw, the Polish capital.
On Saturday, NATO countries agreed at the summit to maintain troop numbers in Afghanistan and reiterated a funding pledge of $5 billion a year for Afghan forces until 2020.
Ghani told reporters in Kabul that Afghanistan returned successfully from the Warsaw summit and congratulated the nation for that.
The United States has been keen to secure the target of a billion dollars annually to support more than 350,000 Afghan security forces as it draws down its own military presence in the country.
The Pentagon has budgeted $3.45 billion in annual US funds to pay for the Afghan forces, with the Afghan government providing an additional sum of around $420 million, for a total yearly budget of nearly $5 billion.
Ghani said more than 11,000 international troops were expected to stay in Afghanistan for a period of time to help train Afghan forces.
He said other countries like Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Sudan were in need of assistance but the international community preferred Afghanistan because of the countless sacrifices by its people and security forces in the war against terrorism.
The president called the most important success of the summit for Kabul the assurances of international community to help train Afghan forces through 2020.
Ghani said some people thought Afghan forces would not be able to maintain security after the withdrawal of international troops but the time showed that they were wrong and Afghan forces had the ability to defend the motherland.
The president said the war against terrorism was an international challenge having multiple dimensions. Ghani said the people of Afghanistan wanted peace in line with constitution.
About relations with Pakistan, the president said the world earlier doubted Kabul’s sincerity in relations with Islamabad, but now the doubt had been removed.
The president made it clear that Afghanistan wanted good relations with Pakistan, but interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs and support to groups involved in insurgency in Afghanistan by neighboring countries would increase the hatred of the people of Afghanistan towards them.
He asked Pakistan to cooperate with Afghanistan in the war against terrorism and not to differentiate between good and bad Taliban. -Pajhwok
THE PASHTUN IMES