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    Afghan, NATO Shura solidifies Great Northern Council, promises future collaboration



    Story by Samuel Wilson 

    U.S. Forces Afghanistan

    More than 80 Afghan government officials and local leaders hosted General John Nicholson, commander of NATO Resolute Support and US Forces-Afghanistan, and Brigadier General Terry Williams, commander of Bagram Airfield, in Parwan Province, Afghanistan March 1, to announce the establishment of the Great Northern Council and to reaffirm a mutual commitment to safety and growth in the region.

    These officials, from across Parwan, Kapisa and northern Kabul districts, called Ko Daman, came together to form the Great Northern Council, a partnership and security agreement between the three parties.

    “Their [local Afghan leaders’] goal is for the council to help set conditions for security, elections and how they encourage reconciliation in the region,” said Task Force 3 Geronimo Commander U.S. Army Lt. Col. Christopher DeMure, who serves as the Resolute Support liaison for Afghan military and civilian leadership in Parwan and Kapisa.

    According to DeMure, the creation of the council is promising and unlike anything seen before in this region, located just miles from Bagram Airfield, the largest U.S.-controlled military base in Afghanistan.

    “You’re going to see greater cooperation for operations, for intelligence, really for everything,” said DeMure. “If something happens in Parwan and pushes to Kapisa, you’ll have a natural collaboration between the Afghan leaders in those areas, and that denies the opportunity for an enemy safe haven or potential staging area.”

    U.S. Marine Corps Brigadier General Williams, commander of the Bagram Defense Ground Area (BGDA), including Parwan and Kapisa Provinces, describes the Shura as an opportunity to strengthen bonds with local leaders and further security efforts.

    “This Shura is a great step in driving the synchronization of security efforts across the three provinces and all the various stakeholders in our collective efforts to help bring peace and security to this region, which is ultimately what everybody wants,” he said.

    One word that echoed throughout the event, whether in Dari or English, was “commitment.” Commitment to peace in Afghanistan, a reaffirmed alliance and clear path forward.

    General Nicholson, as the honored guest, was the last speaker to address the audience of Afghan leaders.

    I want to make it clear that we are long-term partners, we’re not going anywhere, he said.



    Date Taken: 03.01.2018
    Date Posted: 03.08.2018 05:42
    Story ID: 268533
    Location: AF

    Web Views: 722
    Downloads: 0