The Netherlands is willing to support the Afghan security forces after 2014. Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal has announced, after meeting colleagues from other NATO countries in Brussels, that he will meet the organisation’s wishes at a NATO summit in May in Chicago.
Afghanistan will have to take care of its own security after international troops leave the country in 2014. However, it will not be able to fund its own armed and police forces. Afghan President Hamid Karzai expects he will need more than three billion euros.
Mr Rosenthal said he is prepared to contribute “a proportionate share”. The Netherlands currently contributes 20 million euros to security forces in Afghanistan.
The United Kingdom announced on Wednesday that it would pay almost 80 million euros towards funding Afgan forces from 2015. Belgium has named a sum of more than 11 million euros.
The United States is paying the lion’s share of around 1.7 billion euros, but they also want other ISAF allies to contribute around a billion euros. Afghanistan will have to find almost 400 million euros itself.
Mr Rosenthal stresses the need for countries outside NATO to participate in funding Afghanistan’s security. Security in Afghanistan is also important to Russia and China.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen points out it is cheaper to fund Afghan troops and policemen than to send troops to Afghanistan.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide