Stoltenberg says yet to decide future of NATO troops in Afghanistan

Stoltenberg says yet to decide future of NATO troops in Afghanistan

Kabul (UNA-OIC) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that the alliance will assess and monitor the situation and will consult with its allies before making a decision about the May 1st deadline in Afghanistan.

Addressing an event on the NATO’s Annual Report for 2020, Stoltenberg said NATO and its allies “strongly support all efforts to try to find a peaceful negotiated solution.”

“That is the reason why we welcomed the US-Taliban agreement last year and the reason we also support the efforts to make progress in the peace process and renew the efforts to try to strengthen the efforts to find a peaceful negotiated solution,” he said.

But he added that it is also extremely important that all regional actors play their part and take responsibility for helping the peace process in Afghanistan go forward.

“We will assess, we will discuss and consult in NATO as we move close to May 1 deadline,” the NATO chief said. “This would be one of the main issues that would be discussed among foreign ministers when they meet in NATO next week.”

Stoltenberg said NATO will discuss the situation, and he highlighted NATO’s commitment to Afghanistan and to the Afghan security forces with its training, assisting and advising mission, and by providing funding for the security forces.

“We will assess, we will monitor, we will consult and then we will make the decisions as we move forward together as 30 allies,” he reiterated.

Stoltenberg said that the US has a significant presence in Afghanistan as part of the NATO presence there, but now the majority of the international troops in Afghanistan are non-US, demonstrating the strong commitment of the European allies and partners around the globe to participate in the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

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