Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, yesterday attended a session of the NATO Defence Ministers’ Meeting to discuss progress of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.
Minister Payne reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to NATO’s efforts to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, to help secure Afghanistan and the global fight against terrorism.
During an introductory meeting with Afghanistan’s acting Minister for Defense, Major General Tariq Shah Bahramee, Minister Payne highlighted Australia’s support for the Resolute Support mission.
“The Government remains committed to enhancing the security of Afghanistan, which is why we agreed to increase the Australian Defence Force contribution to the Resolute Support mission from around 270 personnel to around 300 personnel,” Minister Payne said.
“This commitment comes on top of Australia’s annual contribution of US $100 million towards Afghan security sector sustainment which will continue until at least 2020.”
While in Brussels, Minister Payne also met with Defence Ministers from France, Ukraine and Turkey and the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg. She also signed the International Partnership and Cooperation Program between Australia and NATO.