General Joseph Dunford thanks Azerbaijan for providing help with Afghanistan
U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, during the hearings on the budget of the Department of Defense in the House of Representatives of the Congress, noted the great role of Azerbaijan in the US operation in Afghanistan.
He recalled visiting Azerbaijan in February and meeting with the country’s leadership, according to a message posted on the Department’s website.
Answering a question about the role of Azerbaijan as one of the U.S. allies in the region in the operation in Afghanistan, Dunford thanked the country for providing help with Afghanistan, mentioning access through Azerbaijan to get to Afghanistan, AzerNews reports.
Dunford further said that today there’s no need to increase that access.
The peacekeeping contingent of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces has been serving under the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan since November 20, 2002.
Azerbaijan also allowed the NATO planes carrying non-combat loads for a mission in Afghanistan to fly through Azerbaijan’s airspace and to use the country’s airports. About 40 percent of all cargo destined for the NATO mission in Afghanistan pass through Baku.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon will send almost 4,000 additional American soldiers to Afghanistan, RIA Novosti has reported citing Associated Press.
Earlier it was reported that President Donald Trump gave the Pentagon Chief James Mattis authority to determine the number of American military personnel in Afghanistan.
Currently it makes about 8,400 militaries. Sending of additional 4,000 American soldiers to Afghanistan is expected to be announced next week.
The coordinated aid programs of the United States and European states aim to assist Afghanistan in establishing sustainable peace and development.