NATO Decides Withdrawal Plans by February 2021
General Jens Stoltenberg, at the initial session of NATO foreign forces, called on the Taliban to reduce violence and emphasized that is the only step.
“What we need to see is a lasting peace agreement. And part of that has to be a ceasefire. So, the reduction of violence should only be the first step,” Jens said, “The ambition is intra-Afghan peace solution. And, of course, that has to include a comprehensive ceasefire”.
He stressed, that is committed to supporting the Afghan peace process and the organization will adjust its presence according to the process.
“While the has decided to further reduce its troop numbers to 2,500, NATO’s training mission continues. And over half of our forces are, now, non-US. Ministers made clear that all Allies remain committed to the mission. And to supporting Afghan security forces in the fight against terrorism. As we continue to assess the situation in Afghanistan, it is clear that we will face a turning point early next year,” he added.
He told at the conference that “If we stay, we risk continued fighting. And an even longer-term engagement” and “If we leave, we risk Afghanistan once again becoming a safe haven for . And the loss of the gains made with such sacrifice.”
According to the decision to stay and leave Afghanistan will be declared by February of 2021.
He said, “there is a price for staying longer. But there is also a price for leaving too soon. We will have to take some hard decisions when NATO defense ministers meet next February. But whatever we decide, we must do it in a coordinated and orderly way,”.
For decades NATO supported the Afghan allies and will continue its support until 2024, there is an assurance that NATO will not remain in the country further the required necessary time.
This comes as Debrah Lyons, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of UNAMA, paid a two-day visit to Doha, , on Tuesday.
According to UNAMA’s statement, she will speak to members of the and the Afghan government on the progress of the peace process.
She will also discuss the outcome of the , with the peace negotiators.