Written answers

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Department of Defence

Overseas Missions

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
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105. To ask the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 255 of 25 November 2014, if he will clarify the impression that the Defence Forces are considering sending soldiers to Afghanistan after 31 December 2014 and that those Defence Forces personnel will be directly involved in training Afghanistan soldiers, in view of such an exercise being inappropriate for Irish personnel to be involved with; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46530/14]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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Ireland has participated in the NATO–led UN mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan since 5 July 2002. Seven members of the Permanent Defence Force are currently serving in the mission headquarters in Kabul.

The ISAF mission is due to conclude and withdraw from Afghanistan on 31 December 2014, whereupon the Afghan National Security Forces will take over full responsibility for security within Afghanistan.  NATO will lead a follow on training support operation in Afghanistan called Resolute Support Mission with effect from 01 January 2015. The NATO-led follow-on mission post December 2014 is a training support mission designed to support and develop the capacity of the Afghan National Defence Forces so as they can ensure the security of the Afghan population and its national governmental institutions following the withdrawal of ISAF.

The question of Ireland contributing to the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan is currently under consideration and I propose to bring proposals to the Government in this regard shortly.

Should the Government decide that the Defence Forces will participate in this mission, the personnel will be deployed to the staff appointments in the Resolute Support Mission Headquarters in Kabul.


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