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Taliban botched to achieve their strategic objective: Stoltenberg

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Presenting his Annual Report on Thursday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the Taliban has not been able to achieve their strategic objective and that Afghan security forces have increased military pressure on the group in the last year.

“We have decided to increase the size of our Resolute Support training mission. From 13,000 to around 16,000. With our assistance, Afghan forces have increased military pressure on the Taliban. Ensuring they did not achieve their strategic objective of capturing a provincial capital in 2017,” he said.

He said NATO supports an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and termed the Afghan government’s peace offer to the Taliban a clear invitation to the group.

“We strongly support an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. I commend President Ghani for his courageous leadership. His offer to the Taliban is the clearest invitation to peace yet. So I call on the Taliban to come to the negotiating table. There is an opportunity now to end the conflict,” he said.

 

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