NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday the alliance would provide funding to help run Kabul airport and train Afghanistan’s special forces abroad after its withdrawal from the country.
“NATO’s future support will have three main pillars. First, we plan to provide advice and capacity support to Afghan security institutions, as well as continued financial support to the Afghan security forces,” Stoltenberg said after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
“Second, we are planning to provide military education and training outside Afghanistan, focusing on Special Operations Forces. And third, we are planning to fund the provision of services, including support for the functioning of Kabul airport.”
Stoltenberg said that “all this will enable NATO Allies and the broader international community to continue to help the Afghan people and contribute to the peace efforts”.
NATO allies are in the process of withdrawing their 10,000-strong mission from Afghanistan after US President Joe Biden ordered the pull-out of American troops by September 11.
The decision to leave Afghanistan after 20 years of military involvement has raised fears of a Taliban comeback that could topple the Western-backed government in Kabul.
Western diplomats and military officials are scrambling to work out how to provide security for any future civilian presence they keep in the country.
Key among their concerns is making sure Kabul airport — the country’s main gateway to the outside world and the exit route for western diplomats and humanitarians if security breaks down — can function securely.