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NATO chief hints on reducing military presence in Afghanistan

AT News

KABUL: The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has talked about reducing military presence in Afghanistan as part of peace efforts in the country.

“The situation in Afghanistan remained difficult. So now is the time for the Taliban and all political actors to play their part. All parties need to engage constructively, honour their commitments and ensure intra-Afghan negotiations can start,” Stoltenberg said in pre-ministerial press conference in Belgium.

“As part of the peace efforts, we are reducing our military presence. By the summer, we should have around 12,000 forces in the country. No decision for a further reduction has been taken and all of our steps will be conditions-based.”  He added.

Afghanistan will be on the agenda, he said, adding, NATO will maintain its commitment to long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan.

This is while a technical committee of the Peace Initial Contact Group (PICG) of Afghanistan hosted a Taliban technical delegation in Kabul on Wednesday, to hold in-person discussion on matters related to prisoners release.

The PICG technical committee and the Taliban delegation made progress on technical matters and will reconvene tomorrow for more negotiations, the Office of National Security Council said.

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