US President Joe Biden while addressing the Munich Security Conference on Friday said that the United States strongly supports Afghanistan peace process.
Mr Biden’s support for peace talks with the Taliban is one of the few issues he has addressed in line with the efforts of the former US President Donald Trump’s administration and the State Department under Mike Pompeo.
However, unlike Donald Trump, who was a vocal critic of NATO, he said the US government is fully committed to working with NATO and its other allies in Afghanistan.
“We will continue to adhere to the slogan that we will never allow Afghanistan to once again become a safe haven for terrorist activities against the United States, its allies and our interests,” Biden said.
The US president also said he would not allow the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) group to be revived and reorganized again.
The remarks by German and US leaders, as well as the new US Secretary of Defense, came on Friday as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that the alliance’s defense ministers had spoken about the withdrawal of NATO troops and when they would leave the country.
“At this time, we have not made any final decision on the future of our forces presence (in Afghanistan),” Mr Stoltenberg said after attending a virtual meeting with the NATO defense ministers.
“As the May 1 deadline approaches, and in the next few weeks, NATO members and allies will be working together,” he said, referring to the May 1 deadline for the withdrawal of troops. “They are closely consulting and coordinating.”
The NATO Secretary General also said that violence in Afghanistan has recently increased rather than decreased and that there has been no progress in the peace process.
Mr Stoltenberg added that the Taliban needed to do more to reduce violence and cut ties with terrorist groups.