NATO: Afghan-Owned, Afghan-led intra-Afghan Talks are way to Peace

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO supports the peace process that is Afghan-owned and Afghan-led.

Answering at the launch of the outline of NATO 2030, the Alliance’s way forward, Stoltenberg said it was a little premature to talk about how Afghanistan’s security and stability would fit into it.

“We welcome the agreement between the United States and Taliban, because that is the first very important step towards lasting peace in Afghanistan. And lasting peace in Afghanistan, we can only have if there’s intra-Afghan negotiations, an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led process.”

He went on to say, the group supports that. However, the way forward is to focus more on training and helping the Afghan security forces, he added.

“I believe strongly that we will have more focus on NATO as a training alliance, how NATO can train, build local capacity, enable countries themselves to stabilise their own countries,” he said.

He spoke about how the Alliance had learnt from their experiences that deploying troops in a temporary solution.

“In the long run, the best weapon we have to fight terrorism and to stabilise countries is to enable countries to stabilise their own countries and to fight terrorism themselves.”

“And that’s exactly what we do in Afghanistan,” he said talking about the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.

“We have been there for almost 20 years. But I think what we have done over the last years has been to focus on enabling the Afghans to fight the terrorism themselves, to stabilise their own country,” he explained.

“There is a huge achievement that we now have a strong Afghan security force which is able to fight terrorism themselves.”

In a tweet later, Stoltenberg also said he spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump and one of the topics was the progress of the intra-Afghan peace dialogues.

The White House press statement revealed that during the talk, the president and the secretary general agreed that the Taliban must reduce violence and all parties should move swiftly to begin the negotiations and achieve a political settlement.

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