The Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, visited Afghanistan on Monday 7 March 2016 and met with His Excellency President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Karzai. He also met the Head of the High Peace Council (HPC) Pir Gailani and other HPC members.
In Kabul the Foreign Secretary spent time with British troops to see the vital role that UK forces have in ensuring security in the capital. He met Brigadier Ian Thomas, Commander of the Kabul Security Force. He also met US General John Nicholson, Commander of NATO’s Resolute Support mission and Deputy Commander of the NATO Resolute Support Mission Lt. Gen Tim Radford - the UK Senior British Military Commander in Afghanistan - to discuss the UK’s non-combat military role in Afghanistan.
The Foreign Secretary reiterated the UK’s support for the Quadrilateral talks, which provide a crucial opportunity to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan and an end to the suffering of the Afghan people.
The Foreign Secretary also underlined the importance of the Government of Afghanistan’s reform commitments, in particular to tackle corruption, as set out at the London Conference on Afghanistan in December 2014.
The Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:
It is a pleasure to be back in Afghanistan, for the first time as British Foreign Secretary.
The British Government is committed to strengthening our partnership with Afghanistan. We will continue to support the Afghan government to build a more peaceful, secure and prosperous future for the Afghan people.
This is an important year for Afghanistan. The NATO Summit and Brussels Conference provide an opportunity for the Government of Afghanistan to set out their progress in delivering on their reform agenda and for the international community to reaffirm its commitment to Afghanistan.