NATO Secretary General Appoints New Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan

BELGIUM–(ENEWSPF)–9 February 2011.  The NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, announced today his decision to appoint Ambassador Simon Gass as the new Senior Civilian Representative (SCR) in Afghanistan, replacing Ambassador Mark Sedwill, who has served as SCR in Kabul since February 2010.

Ambassador Gass, who is currently the British Ambassador to Iran, will take up his duties at the NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in April.

“Ambassador Gass is a highly qualified diplomat who will bring a regional perspective to this important post,” said the Secretary General. “He knows how important the civilian and political aspects of NATO’s engagement in Afghanistan are, especially as Afghans start taking the lead for their own security in the first half of this year. At the same time, I want to thank Ambassador Mark Sedwill for his sterling work in strengthening the political component of our engagement in Afghanistan.”

Ambassador Gass will represent the political leadership of the Alliance in Kabul both officially and publicly. The role of the SCR is to ensure that the governance and development work is closely coordinated with the security effort provided by NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, ISAF.

“We are entering a period of transition in Afghanistan which will be critical for the country’s stability and security.  I look forward to working in partnership with the Afghan Government and other key actors to make a success of this challenging process so that the Afghan people can enjoy a more secure and prosperous future”, said Ambassador Gass.