AT News Report
KABUL: NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan Nicholas Kay said that their priority is to help Afghans achieve peace as soon as possible, while saying that they are not in rush to leave Afghanistan.
Taking to a conference “Afghanistan Before, During, and After Peace, here in Kabul, Kay said that NATO mission is to ensure Afghan territory is never again a safe haven for international terrorists, putting it as their mission.
“I hope to see rapid progress on putting together negotiating team with government front and center and with members representing whole range of Afghan interests. There needs to be national interest put above individual interest,” Kay told the conference.
According to him, the biggest obstacle to peace in Afghanistan is the Taliban, while he strongly condemned Taliban’s violence against civilians in Kandahar.
Taliban rebels launched a complex attack on Thursday with a car bomb explosion outside the provincial police headquarters in Kandahar, in which over 100 people, mostly civilians were killed and wounded.
He also denounced Friday’s terrorist attack near Kabul university that left eight people dead, while over 30 others received injures.
“The biggest obstacle to peace in Afghanistan is the Taliban… it’s the Taliban’s continuing violence and attacks including on civilians. It is the Taliban’s refusal to sit down with the government of Afghanistan,” he added.
However, he seemed optimistic about ongoing peace talks, saying this is a unique moment of opportunity when there is a regional consensus in support of peace.
“Therefore, it’s very important that Afghans do not miss that opportunity and unite now, putting together a strong negotiating team for future intra-Afghan negotiations” Kay said, referring to ongoing peace.