Austrian federal government announces support package for Afghan security forces
Stabilising Afghanistan now a development task
Vienna, 18 May 2012 – “The international community has been engaged in stabilising Afghanistan since over a decade. Now is an important time to act”, said State Secretary Waldner, as the federal government decided to support the build-up of Afghan security forces.
In agreement with international partners, the Afghan government has started from July 2011 to take over security responsibility for the whole country. Troop numbers of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), where Austria also participates, will be drawn down in step with this, until 2014.
“Afghanistan will still require international assistance after 2014. This will increasingly become a long-term development task. For the fruits of this peace engagement to last, maintaining the rule of law and good governance will be crucial”, the State Secretary further elaborated. “In the long run, we want to see trust and legitimacy of the Afghan security forces and the Afghan government, because this is what stability and true pacification will depend upon”.
Austria is ready to contribute to securing the progress already made in Afghanistan, in the field of building an Afghan police. “The Austrian financial contribution will flow into capacity-building and community policing. On the ground, this means we will be supporting partnerships between the police and local communities”, the State Secretary explained.
The Austrian funding will be channelled through the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA) of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), set up specifically for such work.
“We will contribute funding in three yearly instalments of € 6 million each, from 2014 to 2016”, Waldner specified.
The NATO Summit in Chicago will also deal with the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan, and the transition period beyond that time.
Federal Ministry for
European and International Affairs
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550, 3739
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