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Afghanistan: Peace Keeping Operations

Volume 458: debated on Tuesday 13 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps she is taking to encourage NATO countries to send additional forces to Afghanistan. (126977)

My right hon. Friends the Defence Secretary, the Foreign Secretary and other Ministers are in regular contact with our NATO counterparts to ensure that commanders on the ground have access to the resources they need to carry out the International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF) mission and to ensure NATO Allies regularly review their contributions to Afghanistan. At the recent NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Brussels, 26 January, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary reaffirmed the need for all NATO Allies to play their part in ensuring ISAF’s success. Military advice on force and capability requirements is provided by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe using the force generation process.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 February 2007, Official Report, column 992W, on Afghanistan: peace keeping operations, what she expects the UK contribution to the European Security and Defence Policy mission to Afghanistan to be. (127069)

On 12 February, the General Affairs and External Relations Council of the European Union approved the concept of a European security and defence policy mission to Afghanistan in the field of policing with linkages to the wider rule of law. Discussions are under way in Brussels on the development of a Concept of Operations (CONOPS), which will detail the composition, objectives and cost of the mission. We plan to contribute to the mission but are awaiting the issuance of the CONOPS to determine the exact form and extent of our participation.

I also refer the hon. Member to the replies I gave him on 23 February 2007, Official Report, column 992W.