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Recalling 9/11, Stoltenberg reaffirms commitment to fight terrorism

AT Monitoring Desk

KABUL: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed commitment to Afghanistan and says that fight against terrorism is a global, generational fight, according to a statement on Wednesday.

Addressing a small event at NATO headquarters he said: “We remain committed to Afghanistan. NATO Allies and partners will continue to train and advise Afghan security forces to make them stronger, so that they can fight international terrorism and create security and stability in their own country.”

“Our military presence is there to create the conditions for peace.  But the road to peace is long and hard,” he believed.

Referring to NATO mission in Iraq, he said the alliance was fighting terrorism beyond Afghanistan. “We train the armed forces to ensure that they can prevent Daesh from coming back. And we work with partners across the Middle East and North Africa.”

He stressed that Europe and North America must continue to stand together now as they stood together on 9/11. “United in our commitment to protect our people and our values,” he said.

“On 9/11, terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers.  But they will never destroy our way of life.  Our free and open societies. And the unbreakable bond between Europe and North America. Our Alliance keeps us strong. And it keeps us safe,” he vowed.

“We stand here at the entrance of the NATO headquarters, by this twisted piece of the Twin Towers. As we walk past it every day, we remember the deadly impact of terrorism. We remember the suffering, the sorrow, and the staggering loss on that terrible morning in September 2001.,” he said.

He added: “We remember all those who were going about their business on an ordinary day when the unthinkable happened. And we pay tribute to the 2,977 people who lost their lives on 9/11.”

“This memorial symbolises that while 9/11 was an attack against the United States, it was also an attack against all NATO Allies. For the first and only time in NATO’s history, we invoked our collective defence clause – Article 5. One for all, and all for one.”

“Since that day, we have fought terrorism together. Soon after 9/11, Allies deployed to Afghanistan.  Hundreds of thousands of troops, from Europe, Canada and beyond, have served shoulder-to-shoulder with US troops.

Many have paid the ultimate price. And many more have been seriously wounded.  We remember them.  And we must make sure that their sacrifice was not in vain,” the secretary general said.

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