Lithuania to continue with financial support to Afghan forces

Afghanistan
Foto: AP / Scanpix

Lithuania, which is taking part in the NATO advisory mission in Afghanistan, intends to continue earmarking money over the next three years to the country's forces fighting the Taliban.

At the meeting on Wednesday, the Lithuanian government will consider granting an annual 500,000 US dollars (nearly EUR 415,000) in 2018-2020 for maintenance and development of the Afghan national security forces.

The money would be transferred to a special trust fund, which gets its most contributions from the US. Lithuania has been adding 500,000 US dollars to the fund in the past on an annual basis.

Since 2015, NATO has been conducting the operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan to train and support Afghanistan's national forces and some ministries. The mission replaced the combat mission International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) that had been conducted for more than a decade.

The Lithuanian contingent in Afghanistan currently consists of around 29 Lithuanian troops, mainly staff officers. Another shift of troops should be seen of to Afghanistan next week to replace the Lithuanians serving in Herat and Kabul, Captain Tomas Pakalniškis, public relations officer at the Defence Staff, told BNS.

At the end of 2017, the Lithuanian Defence Ministry said it was looking into the possibilities of raising the Lithuanian contribution to the Resolute Support, however, did not provide any further details. The parliament has sanctioned sending up to 50 Lithuanian troops to Afghanistan.

Source: BNS
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