BELGIUM–(ENEWSPF)–21 February 2012. The NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, welcomed today an important contribution of 20 million US dollars from the Japanese Government to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund. The Japanese Ambassador to Belgium Jun Yokota delivered his Government’s pledge to Ambassador Vershbow at NATO HQ. The donation will support long-term basic literacy training for the Afghan National Security Forces through the NATO-run Afghan National Army Trust Fund.
Training and developing the Afghan Security Forces is a crucial element of the Afghan and international strategy to transition the lead for security to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.
“Creating effective and educated security forces is the key to Afghanistan’s future. And together, we are already achieving results”, the Deputy Secretary General said. “Over 85% of the training of the Afghan forces is carried out by the Afghans themselves. This shows that Afghanistan is increasingly able to fund and maintain its own forces. That is vital for a secure Afghanistan, that will be able to stand on its own feet beyond 2014.”
The donation announced today is the third made by Japan to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund in the last three years.
“NATO and the people of Afghanistan alike know how valuable Japan’s support is”, Ambassador Vershbow said. “It is all the more welcome because we know the challenges that Japan has been facing at home, as the country continues to focus on recovery from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami”.
The Deputy Secretary General added that NATO remains committed to continue enhancing the political dialogue, practical cooperation and partnership with Japan.
“As our meeting today showed, Japan and NATO have much to do together, and our relationship goes well beyond our work in Afghanistan. The foundation for our relationship is in our shared values and the common security challenges we face”, he said.