Code 158190
PublishDate: Thursday, April 16, 2020 10:00

NATO chief calls for political challenges in Afghanistan to be addressed

"We need a functioning political process in Afghanistan, not least to be able to fully engage in the peace process," Stoltenberg said at a press conference following the virtual meeting of NATO defense ministers.

Stoltenberg said that the security situation in Afghanistan remains fragile.

He said that NATO will reduce its number of troops in Afghanistan from 16,000 to 12,000, but "we will be able to continue the mission operations very much as we have done for many . . . for several years now, because we were actually almost at that level until mid-2017."

He reiterated that any reduction will be conditions-based based and "we remain committed to Afghanistan and that we will continue to provide training, assistance and also financial support."

"We actually believe that the best way we can support the peace efforts is to continue to support the Afghan security forces by . . . and by doing that, sending a message to Taliban that they will not win on the battlefield, they have to sit down and make real compromises on the negotiating table," he said reiterating call on the Taliban to respect the US deal and reduce violence.

Stoltenberg also said that NATO provides support to the Afghan security forces in fighting the coronavirus, including medical equipment and training on how to cope with the crisis.
 

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