KABUL: The Taliban attacks are harmful, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said ahead of Defense Ministers meeting on Tuesday. “We call on the Taliban to cease the attacks to fully implement the agreement between the United States and the Taliban and to reduce violence because that’s the only way towards a peaceful negotiated solution,” Mr. Stoltenberg said.
“We strongly support all efforts to initiate intra-Afghan negotiations. We welcome the fact that the Afghan government has appointed an inclusive negotiating team and we support the agreement between the US and the Taliban, which also then includes provisions about exchange of prisoners. But it’s not for me to… What I will say today is only that we urge all parties to fully respect the promise to reduce violence and make all their efforts to implement the agreement and to initiate the intra-Afghan negotiations.”
“I also welcome that the NATO’s commander in Afghanistan, our top commander in Afghanistan, Scott Miller, recently met with the Taliban and also the US Envoy, Ambassador Khalilzad, is also in close contact with them to try to facilitate a peace process which is the only way to reach peaceful negotiated solution in Afghanistan,” he added.
NATO will continue to stay committed to Afghanistan with financial support, with our Resolute Support mission, with training. Because we believe that the best way for us to support the peace process is to continue the support to the Afghans so that the Taliban understand that they will never win on the battlefield. They have to sit down at the negotiating table and make real compromises, he added.