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Taliban must demonstrate a real will to reduce violence

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KABUL: NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg, speaking to mediamen on Wednesday at the start of the NATO defense ministerial in Brussels, said that NATO would welcome any steps that can lead to reduction in violence.

“I look forward to welcoming all the Defence Ministers and will address a wide range of different issues, including NATO’s role in Afghanistan and we will discuss how NATO can do more to support the fight against ISIS, Daesh, and international terrorism,” he said.

NATO is committed to our training mission in Afghanistan and “we strongly believe that the best way for NATO to support the peace process in the efforts to find a political, negotiated solution to the crisis in Afghanistan,” he added.

He furthered; “At the same time it is extremely important to convey a clear message to Taliban that they have to show and demonstrate a real will and ability to reduce violence and to engage in credible peace talks.”

In the meantime, the New York Times in a report said that the US President Trump has ‘conditionally approved’ a peace deal with the Taliban that may lead to the withdrawal of US troops as long as the Taliban can commit to a reduction in violence.

But the deal will “only be signed if the Taliban prove their commitment to a durable reduction of violence over a test period of about seven days later this month,” the report said.

If the reduction in violence is upheld, then a US-Taliban agreement is expected to lead to intra-Afghan talks, the Times reported.

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