Visit by a delegation of the Ministry of Defence and the Army to the soldiers in Afghanistan

The Deputy Minister of Defence, Bekim Maksuti, together with State Secretary Dragan Nikolic, and the Commander of the Joint Operations Command, General Pavle Arsoski, are today in Kabul, Afghanistan, in a visit of the members of the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia, in the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

The delegation, led by the Deputy Minister of Defence, met this morning with the members of the two contingents of our Army that are part of Train Advise Assist Command – Capital and the Train Advise Assist Command – North, as well as with the senior national representative, Colonel Ljupcho Jovanovski.

At the meeting, the members of the contingent informed the Deputy Minister of Defence about their activities and tasks in Afghanistan, and he thanked them for their demonstrated professionalism and dedication in carrying out the tasks, thus proving themselves as a credible partner of the NATO allies and as ambassadors who, to a great extent, help their country become the 30th member of the Alliance.

The Deputy Minister also met with TAAC Capital Commander, Brigadier General Yasar Dilber, and through a video conference call, he also spoke with TAAC North Commander, German Brigadier General Gerhard Ernst-Peter Klaffus. The Deputy Minister of Defence expressed gratitude for the support of our soldiers, and the generals expressed satisfaction with the professionalism, ability and dedication of the members of the Army in carrying out the tasks, where their main task is training and assistance of Afghan forces. The Deputy Minister of Defence also met with Brigadier General Hasan Hüseyin Kanbur, Commander of Hamid Karzai International Airport.

In the afternoon, the delegation met with soldiers responsible for the security of the Main Command of the Resolute Support mission in Kabul, with Mission Deputy Commander, General Salvatore Camporeale and Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan, Nicholas Kay. They also expressed gratitude to our contingent for their dedication to the tasks as well as the contribution they give in strengthening the peace and security not only in Afghanistan, but beyond as well.

The contribution to international peacekeeping operations is a strategic commitment and high priority of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia. Our country has been part of the NATO mission in Afghanistan since 2002. Within the ISAF mission then, and since 2015 within the “Resolute Support” mission, our Army has participated with over 3,000 members. At the moment 43 male and 4 female members of the ARNM are deployed in the Resolute Support mission, within the command of the capital Kabul in cooperation with the Turkish Armed Forces, in the unit for providing security to the main command of the mission in Kabul in cooperation with the US armed forces, in the Train Advise Assist Command – North under the German contingent and within the contribution of the US – Adriatic Charter.