Prime Minister Stephen Harper today confirmed that Canada's military mission in Afghanistan will come to a firm and final end once the current training mission concludes on March 31, 2014. The Prime Minister made the announcement at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in Chicago.
"For more than a decade, the brave men and women of our Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP, and many dedicated public servants and civilians have made enormous sacrifices to assist the Afghan people," said the Prime Minister. "Canada will honour its commitment and complete its current training mission but our country will not have any military mission in Afghanistan after March 2014."
To ensure the future stability of a secure and democratic Afghanistan the Prime Minister announced that Canada will provide financial support to the Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF).
“Canada plays an integral role in ensuring that Afghan National Security Forces are well-trained so they can assume full responsibility for their own national security,” said Prime Minister Harper. “The support being announced today will help sustain these Forces by ensuring they are well equipped beyond 2014.”
Canada will contribute $110 million per year over three years (2015-2017) towards helping sustain the ANSF. Canada joins a broad international coalition of NATO and non-NATO partners in supporting the ANSF. Canada will insist on strict accountability measures for this fund.
The Prime Minister added that the Afghan Government must continue to demonstrate its commitment to meeting international human rights obligations, combating corruption, strengthening the rule of law, increasing tolerance of religious freedoms, and protecting women’s rights as enshrined in the Afghan Constitution.
Canada’s ultimate goal is to sustain the gains that have been made as a result of the sacrifices of Canadian troops and help Afghans rebuild Afghanistan into a viable country that is better governed, more stable and secure, and never again a safe haven for terrorists.