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Joint commission holds session to assess BSA, SOFA implementation

A committee to be established to assess threats would face Afghanistan and to take joint solution measures: Acting Defense Minster

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The joint commission of Afghan, US and NATO officials held its first session Sunday aiming to assess the implementation the Afghan-US military agreement called Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) and the Afghan-NATO pact called Status Of Forces Agreement (SOFA).

Acting Defense Minister Mohammad Massoom Stanekzai said that the commission decided to establish three committees: “The first committee will address financial issues such as funding of Afghan security forces.”

“The second committee will assess joint threats and the threats facing Afghanistan in order to make joint efforts for the solution which would be only under the BSA.”

Stanekzai termed the third committee to focus on capacity building of Afghan forces, their training and technical support.

“Afghan people can defend their country, but terrorism is a regional and international challenge. So, we need regional and international cooperation to fight,” he asserted.

He said that over 100,000 foreign troops have left Afghanistan since 2014, but attacks have not decreased and even increased.

The presence of the international soldiers was one of the pretexts the Taliban usually insist to justify their attacks.

Commander of the US and NATO troops in Afghanistan General John Francis Campbell called the joint commission as the result of a lot of works, saying that lots of other works still needed to be done.

“We are fully committed to make sure to help Afghanistan.”

Campbell said the Haqqani network “is a terrorist organization that kills Afghans, ANSF, women and children”. “The BSA and the SoFA would give us chance to support Afghan forces to stop terrorist network like Haqqani.”

No doubt the Haqqani network has no future in Afghanistan. It does not provide a good future in Afghanistan, said the US general.

Afghanistan signed the controversial pacts with the United States and the NATO after a long time and several discussions. The agreements allow the US and NATO to keep military presence after their combat mission in 2014.

Former president Hamid Karzai refused to sign the agreements, arguing that the US was not honest in helping to bring lasting peace to Afghanistan.

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