Norway to keep field hospital in Kabul in place for the rest of 2021

Erna Solberg - NATOPhoto: Terje Bringedal / VG POOL / NTB

Norway announced it would run the field hospital in Kabul for the rest of the year – that is, even after NATO has withdrawn its forces.

The information was announced by Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) at the NATO summit in Brussels on Monday.

“We believe that we will continue to provide assistance to our Afghan partners in various ways, even though NATO’s military involvement is coming to an end. 

“We have first and foremost said that we want to contribute with help and support on the humanitarian and development side. But we have also agreed – after we were asked about it – to extend the sanitary contribution for a transitional period,” Solberg told the Norwegian press in Brussels.

She noted that safety must be ensured for those who work at the hospital. Solberg described the current security situation as confusing and fragile, adding that it could worsen when NATO withdraws its military forces from the country.

Invite necessary

An invite from Afghanistan would also have to be made to put in place the legal basis for Norwegian presence.

Norway has signaled that operations can be maintained throughout the year but not beyond the first quarter of 2022.

“The field hospital is very important for us in order to have a diplomatic and civilian presence in Kabul. It is important for Norway and the rest of the international community to continue contributing to humanitarian aid and development efforts and supporting the peace process in Afghanistan,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide (H) noted in a press release.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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