AT News Report
KABUL: NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg has said that alliance wants a peaceful solution to the Afghan conflict, saying they will make decisions on its future presence in Afghanistan following ongoing negotiations with the Taliban.
While briefing newsmen head of NATO Foreign Minister’s meeting in Washington D.C., he said, “We have just finished a meeting of NATO’s Foreign Ministers with a discussion about fair burden sharing in the Alliance.”
Stoltenberg said the role of NATO in fighting terrorism will be assessed and the US Secretary Mike Pompeo will update the participants on Afghan peace talks.
“We will also assess NATO’s role in the fight against terrorism. Secretary Pompeo will update us on the peace negotiations. And all NATO Allies strongly support the efforts to find a negotiated peaceful solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, to the war in Afghanistan,” Stoltenberg said.
He said NATO allies are consulting closely on the situation of Afghanistan and that the US and the alliance together are assessing Afghanistan’s situation and will make decisions on their future presence.
“So we are doing an assessment together with the United States because the United States is a member of NATO. So we will discuss the situation in Afghanistan later on,” he said.
He said US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has updated NATO on peace talks adding that they want a sustainable peace in Afghanistan.
“To have Afghan reconciliation, we need, of course, to have the Afghan government to be part of that. And therefore, the talks which are now taking place is only the first stage,” he added.
The NATO chief said the next stage has to be Afghan reconciliation in which the Afghan government should be involved.
In response to a question whether all NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan if there was a leave plan considering to Stoltenberg’s previous statements on ‘in together, out together’ he said, “Khalilzad has stated many times that what he is negotiating is not at a leave agreement but a peace agreement,”
He added the overall aim of the ongoing negotiations was to reach a political agreement that could make it possible to have peace in Afghanistan for the first time in many years.