I spoke today by phone with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss the security situation in Afghanistan and the future of the Resolute Support mission. Our conversation followed my recent discussions with Allied leaders regarding the future of NATO’s presence in Afghanistan.
I reiterated my appreciation for President Obama’s announcement that the United States will maintain its current troop levels in Afghanistan through 2016, and will retain a substantial presence beyond 2016. This important decision paves the way for a sustained presence by NATO Allies and partners in Afghanistan.
I commended the bravery of the Afghan National Security Forces who are leading security efforts across the country in a very challenging environment.
I expressed my deepest regret over the recent tragedy affecting the Doctors without Borders hospital in Kunduz, and offered my condolences to the victims and their families. I stressed the need for thorough and transparent investigations, as well as the need to draw lessons and take any necessary steps to avoid similar events in the future.
President Ghani and I reaffirmed our commitment to strengthening the partnership between the Alliance and Afghanistan. In that regard, I also encouraged the Unity Government to continue efforts on reforms and good governance.
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