World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Germany Hands Over Afghanistan Security To NATO


Germany Hands Over Afghanistan Security To NATO

Speech by the German Minister of Defence, Dr. Peter Struck, on the Occasion of the Transfer of Authority over the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on 11 August 2003 in Kabul, Afghanistan

Your Royal Highness, President Karzai, Esteemed Members of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Dear Colleagues, Men and Women of ISAF, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, we are transferring the authority over the ISAF III mission to NATO.

This marks the end of the six-month period in which the Netherlands and Germany shared command responsibility for this mission.

It does not, however, mark the end of the mission itself, which is to enable the people of Afghanistan to live in freedom and determine their own future.

Despite all the set-backs, we have achieved a lot.

The general security situation in Kabul has improved substantially; this can be sensed by anyone visiting the city - and this can be sensed notably by the people who live here.

Public life is also flourishing again; this is the foundation for reviving economic activity.

I am particularly pleased to see that lessons are again being given regularly at the schools. Education for boys and girls equally is a must if this country is to have a better future.

Preparations have begun for the first national elections in 2004 and efforts in the realm of "disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration" are taking shape.

Yet there is still a lot to be done.

We are concerned about the activities we can observe of forces both inside and outside Afghanistan that reject the idea of freedom of the individual and are striving to again destabilize the country in order to make it their prey again.

This is the source of the persistent danger which our soldiers face here and to which four of them fell victim.

They died because, as Chancellor Gerhard Schröder put it, they risked their health and their lives to give the country a better and peaceful future.

We mourn for these victims of terrorism; we feel for their families and friends.

Given this, the performance of you, the men and women of the Bundeswehr and the armies of the 29 other nations participating in ISAF III, must be rated even more highly.

Far away from your homes and your families, in unfamiliar climatic conditions, and under persistent threat, you have done your demanding job with bravour.

By means of your assured and invariably friendly conduct and your empathy, you have succeeded in gaining the trust and confidence of the local people and so in helping to stabilize the security situation in the country.

General van Heyst, I express my thanks and appreciation to you and your soldiers for this.

The task ahead now is to continue building democratic structures.

Afghanistan must not lapse back into anarchy and chaos. And Afghanistan must not again become the home of global terror, as was the case under the rule of the Taliban.

We must go on making our contribution toward the formation of government structures until the Afghan authorities are capable of guaranteeing a safe and secure environment by themselves.

And we must see to it that the people of Afghanistan remain convinced that a return to Taliban rule and the return of Al-Quaida are not desirable solutions for their country of for themselves.

What the people of Afghanistan wish for is a stable peace. They are pinning great hopes on the international community.

The enhanced support of NATO for ISAF IV is a visible expression of the fact that the people of Afghanistan will not be let down.

General Gliemeroth, you are today assuming the authority over ISAF IV. You have got a demanding six months ahead of you.

I wish you and your soldiers the best of luck and every success! May you all return home safe and sound!

Thank you very much.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news