At their meeting yesterday, Minister of Defence Jaak Aaviksoo and the Special Representative of the United Kingdom to Afghanistan, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, concluded that, after the decision by the United States and other allies to increase their military presence in Afghanistan, we now have an excellent opportunity for long-term success there.
“It is clear that there is no purely military or purely non-military solution for Afghanistan that would bring long-term stability to the country,” Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles and Mr. Aaviksoo confirmed.
The Minister of Defence and Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles also concluded that the only way to secure stability in Afghanistan would be through means and principles chosen by the Afghan people themselves.
“We need the Afghan people to assume their own responsibilities, and a foundation that is based on their society and culture on which to build the rest,” the Minister of Defence explained, while emphasising that a sufficient military presence is needed to create an elementary level of stability and political dialogue.
Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles also met with the commander of the Estonian contingent, Captain Janno Märk, and with the commander of the infantry company ESTCOY-8, Captain Tarvo Luga, who have just returned from Afghanistan. They discussed the situation in the sphere of responsibility of the members of the Estonian Defence Forces in Helmand Province and co-operation between countries in the theatre of operation.
At the meeting, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles stressed that every commander of the British contingent has said that Estonian soldiers are displaying great courage and professionalism in Afghanistan. “I thank all the members of the Estonian Defence Forces for all the work that has been done in Afghanistan so far,” Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles said.
The Chances For Success In Afghanistan Are Very Good