BRUSSELS—Armenia is committed to assisting international partners to establish peace and security in Afghanistan, according to Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian. Nalbandian joined his counterparts in Brussels on Tuesday at a ministerial meeting of the NATO Resolute Support Mission, a NATO-led international effort established in late 2014 to support the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF), where he expressed Armenia’s continued support of the mission.
The Resolute Support Mission consists of more than 12,500 troops focused on building ANSF sustainability. 28 NATO Allies and 14 partner nations, including the Republic of Armenia, contribute to the mission.
The foreign ministers of NATO-Resolute Support nations and Afghanistan met to discuss the mission’s operations over the last year, and to reaffirm their endured commitment to enhance security and to promote peace, development, human rights and the rule of law in Afghanistan.
In his speech, Nalbandian noted that the NATO mission was “still fragile,” and that challenges persist and “capability gaps remain to be filled.”
“[The] Afghan people continue to need our support,” Nalbandian said.
“We believe it [the NATO Resolute Support Mission] also stands as a pivotal test for international capability in adequately facing the challenges and generating solutions for the situations which have a global significance. Therefore, the realization of our mission will send a strong worldwide signal about the joint resolve and ability in taking commitments and addressing even the most daunting tasks.”
Echoing the sentiments his counterparts from various nations, Nalbandian expressed Armenia’s readiness to continue to support NATO’s efforts in Afghanistan. “[The] Armenian contingent will continue its international commitment within the Resolute Support Mission throughout 2016 on its current strength level. We are ready to stay with future mission Enduring Partnership when it will take over from Resolute Support Mission.”
“We will also continue to encourage internal inclusive peace process in Afghanistan, promotion of good-neighborly relations, as well as regional cooperation,” Nalbandian said.
Armenia first began participating in peacekeeping missions in Kosova, and later expanded its presence in other conflict zones around the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Mali. In October, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations at the United Nations, Edmond Mulet, hailed Armenia’s efforts in global security, and went as far as asking Armenia to expand its engagement.
“We need the support of Armenia to realize our mandate and for effectiveness of our operations,” Mulet said.