Kabul, Afghanistan, 7 October 2019 – At a meeting with Ashraf Ghanī, President of Afghanistan, and members of the country’s government, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas assured that Estonia will continue to provide support to ensure stability and security in Afghanistan and thereby also improve the people’s well-being.
According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, Estonia contributes to the security and stability of the region by participating in NATO’s largest operation. “Members of our Defence Forces and our allies are helping the people of Afghanistan to create a safer living environment so that they could live in peace without abandoning their homes. This is a contribution to Estonian and European security, too,” said the prime minister.
Ratas and Ghanī discussed matters related to the peace process in Afghanistan and the presidential elections that took place in late September. Ratas highlighted the importance of Afghanistan ensuring the security of these elections, in which people could vote on the future of the country. “All efforts made to achieve peace and reconciliation are of vital importance. All parties must be included in this process to create a sense of responsibility. In the end, peace negotiations are the only real way to reach lasting peace,” said the prime minister.
“Many people of Afghanistan have unfortunately spent their entire lives in a wartime situation and have never been able to witness peace. However, despite the complications, access to healthcare has improved and child mortality has decreased. The number of children, including girls, in general education has increased almost ninefold and the number of schools nearly fivefold,” said Ratas,
According to Ratas, Afghanistan has been a high-priority partner country to Estonia in terms of military, civil, and development cooperation. “In development cooperation, Estonia has paid special attention to education, improving the lives of women and children, and increasing IT capability, especially in the fields of IT higher education and digital identity. We have taken the needs of the local people into account above all and will continue to assist Afghanistan also in the future,” said the prime minister. Since 2009, Estonia has supported the development of Afghanistan with 11.3 million euros.
Today in Kabul, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and Martin Herem, Commander of the Defence Forces, also met with General Austin S. Miller, commander of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, and Sir Nicholas Kay, NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan.