Defence minister reiterates Lithuania’s commitments to Afghanistan

“Lithuania will continue its military involvement in Afghanistan as NATO‘s International Security Assistance Force mission is scheduled to transform into Resolute Support in 2015. We are planning for contribution of soldiers and staff officers of the Lithuanian Special Operations Forces to the mission,” Minister of National Defence Olekas said at the meeting with the deputy minister of defence of Afghanistan. According to the Lithuanian minister, Lithuania had already allowed for financial support for the Afghan National Security Forces the following year as well.

Olekas underscored at the session with Deputy Minister for Finance Shafiq Ahmad Qarizada that Lithuania would keep its commitments to contribute to the efforts of the international community to reconstruct Afghanistan that it had made alongside allies and partner nations at the NATO Summit in Chicago, Tokyo Conference and other meetings with representatives of the Government of Afghanistan.

The deputy minister of Finance also briefed Olekas on the situation in the province of Ghor where Lithuania was running a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in 2005-2013. According to the Afghan official, local institutions of Ghor are successfully pursuing the development cooperation projects launched by the PRT and local community is benefiting from them. According to Shafiq Ahmad Qarizada, further reconstruction of Ghor is implemented under the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan and Afghan people.

Minister of National Defence Olekas and Lithuanian delegation arrived in Afghanistan on 20 August. The trip is expected to continue till the end of this week.

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