Coalition force in Afghanistan has not carried out its tasks – Russian ambassador

Map of Afghanistan and Environs

(Interfax – April 1, 2013 – Brussels) – One cannot speak of the fulfillment of the mandate issued by the UN Security Council to the coalition force in Afghanistan, Russian ambassador to Afghanistan Andrei Avetisian believes.

“The mandate of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was apparent – to fight terrorism. The result of 12 years of implementation of the mandate is also apparent – there is no stability or peace in Afghanistan,” the diplomat told Interfax in Brussels.

“Terrorist acts, attacks on civilian and military facilities continue throughout the country,” he said.

“Even the capital city Kabul is not safe from them. Terrorist acts are often clearly demonstrative, for instance, the recent murder of the father, brother and other close relatives of the speaker of the Afghan parliament,” he said.

“So one cannot speak of the fulfillment of the mandate issued by the UN Security Council to the coalition forces and we are drawing their attention to that and telling them that the withdrawal of troops should be accompanied by a report to the Security Council to the extent to which ISAF has carried out its tasks,” Avetisian said.

Answering the question about NATO declarations that the Afghan authorities control areas where 87% of the population lives and that Afghan security forces have become more effective and better trained he said: “Formally, in line with the plan of the transfer of responsibility from NATO troops to the Afghan army, one can say that this percentage is true. But in reality, one cannot say that the situation has improved in all the territories, at least in those placed under the control of the Afghan army and police.”

Avetisian also noted that the losses of the Afghan army are growing.

“On the one hand, the reason is that it is getting more actively involved in hostilities, but on the other, it means that the intensity of terrorist activities has not declined. It is true that the Afghan security forces have become better trained but they are far from being trained to the extent to independently and effectively guarantee security throughout the country’s territory without foreign assistance. One of the problems is the absence of combat aviation of the Afghan armed forces without which not a single serious operation can be conducted,” the ambassador said.

Answering the question whether Russia is ready to help with strengthening the Afghan army and security force as NATO asks, he said: “Russia, irrespective of the requests of NATO or anyone else, will continue rendering all-round assistance to Afghanistan.”

“It is not a question of who will ask us for this. The question is that being a neighbor of Afghanistan, Russia has no other alternative than to cooperate with the Afghan government to guarantee its own security. Therefore, we will continue training officers for the army and the police and, when possible, help them with weaponry. And we are ready to render any support to Afghanistan in strengthening security, except one, sending our soldiers to that country. All of the rest can be discussed,” Avetisian said.