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NATO Leaders Hold Summit In London

04 Dec 2019 Tolo News

NATO leaders began a two-day summit in London Wednesday to mark the 70th anniversary of the alliance and to make decisions for the future.

NATO’s senior civilian representative for Afghanistan, Nicholas Kay, spoke to reporters on Tuesday ahead of the summit, saying he hopes that the peace talks between the US and the Taliban will resume and “reach a conclusion.”

“Every Afghan is desperate for peace and really praying that in 2020 we will see the progress that we want,” Kay said, adding: “To do that, the Taliban really have to be willing to make real compromises. There has to be real reductions of violence and commitment to even further reductions.”

“I hope that … it will be possible to resume the US - Taliban talks and reach a conclusion on those,” he said, “so Afghans can get together with the Taliban and have direct talks between the government and the Taliban.

On the Afghan elections and the delay of the announcement of its results, Kay said:  

“Electoral bodies I think are following the rules and procedures technically, they need to explain and communicate very clearly to Afghan public and to the candidates..(their) decisions, he said, “and once they’ve done that there needs to be a decision from the Independent Election Commission and an announcement.“

Asked he would like to see happen with the election, Kay said:

“I want the electoral bodies to do exactly what all Afghans want them to do. Afghan people are trusting them to follow the rules and procedures and technically count and validate the votes properly. I am sure that is what they are doing and now they also need to communicate… I hope then everybody will respect the results and respect the decision of the IEC. “

More than two months have passed since the election polling and the IEC has not yet announced the preliminary results.

Kay said that leaders in London will discuss the NATO mission in Afghanistan and he referenced NATO’s “Article 5” clause which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all. The September 11 attacks in the United States, which led to an intervention in Afghanistan, invoked Article 5.  

“For Afghanistan, I think its good news that all 29 nations are here celebrating the 70th anniversary of the world’s most successful defense alliance because in Afghanistan it is the only place in the world where Article 5-- the mutual defense clause of NATO-- has been activated, it is NATO’s largest, longest operation ever,” he said.

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