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‘Taliban must show ability to deliver on pledges to reduce violence’

12 Feb 2020 Salam Watandar

BRUSSELS (SW) – The NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg has said the Taliban must show ability and willingness to deliver on pledges to reduce violence in Afghanistan.

He said this ahead of the meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels. Responding to a question asked by Salam Watandar, he said the Allies welcome any step towards genuine and lasting reduction in violence in Afghanistan, but the Taliban must show ability and willingness for that. “At the same time it is extremely important to convey a clear message to Taliban that they have to show and demonstrate a real will and ability to reduce violence and to engage in credible peace talks”, he said.

Stoltenberg said NATO is committed to the training mission in Afghanistan. “We strongly believe that that’s the best way for NATO to support the peace process in the efforts to find a political, negotiated solution to the crisis in Afghanistan. And we would welcome any steps that can lead to reduction in violence”, he said.

A day earlier, he expressed hope that Allies can see progress in the people talks. “Let me also add that we went into Afghanistan together - all Allies and partners. We will make decisions on the adjustment of our force levels together and one day we will leave together. Because we are not in Afghanistan to stay there forever. We are there to create the conditions for peace and to enable the Afghan security forces to protect themselves without our help”, he stressed.

Responding to a question, he said there are some 16,000 NATO troops training and helping the Afghans so that they can fight terrorism themselves. “We have to make sure that when we leave, we don’t create the conditions for ISIS to return or international terrorists to return. But that we have created strong local national institutions that can protect and defend themselves.


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