The Defense Minister of Spain, María Dolores de Cospedal, met President Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential Palace on Thursday where they discussed Afghanistan’s security situation, relations between the two countries and other relevant topics.
Presidential Palace said in a statement that Afghan Defense Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami and the Army Chief of Staff Brigadier General Mohammad Sharif Yaftali also attended the meeting.
The Spain defense minister said her country will continue its cooperation and support to Afghan Special Force under the Resolute Support mission.
She said the number of Spanish troops will increase in Afghanistan who will focus on training and building the capacity of Afghan National Defense and Security Force members.
The two sides exchanged views on strengthening security relations between the two countries, the Presidential Palace said in the statement.
Meanwhile, President Ashraf Ghani appreciated Spain’s assistance in different sectors, particularly in military, in Afghanistan.
Ghani said the Afghan government will continue to boost relations between Afghanistan and Spain.
There are at least 15,000 US troops and almost 6,000 NATO forces in Afghanistan. Reports indicate that at least 3,000 NATO troops will be added to the number within the next four months. Meanwhile, an additional 1,000 US troops will be added to the number in the near future.
Spain has so far sent in 29,861 troops to Afghanistan since January 2002. It has been the longest military operation of Spain's modern armed forces, with a tragic result of 102 dead (62 of them in a aircraft crash in Turkey while they were going back home in May 2003).