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NATO to Discuss Next Mission in Afghanistan

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KABUL: Defense Ministers of the NATO member countries are planned to meet this weeks to discuss the next part of their mission in Afghanistan, amid escalations in the country.

NATO has presently 10,000 soldiers in Afghanistan who are busy in training and advising mission to the Afghan army and police after their combat mission ended in December 2014. The NATO defense ministers are expected to decide whether prolong mission in Afghanistan beyond May.

The United States is expected to withdraw troops in May under a peace deal Washington signed last year with the Taliban. But the new administration in the White House says they plan to keep troops in the country after May, arguing that Taliban have not cut ties with al-Qaeda and have not reduced violence against Afghans as part of their commitments in the peace agreement.

Hamdullah Moheb, President Ghani’s National Security Advisor, said recently that Taliban were preparing for their spring offensive, arguing that their leaders met Pakistani officials with this aim.

Taliban said in a statement that they remain adherent to the US peace agreement and have reduced war and violence.

The statement alleges that “some parties and anti-peace elements” try to convince foreigners keep troops in Afghanistan and continue invasion.

The insurgents have advised NATO to stop war, saying that nobody would get benefit in war. They warned the NATO would be accountable if the war continues as they are responsible for the past two decades of battle.

The NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg lately said that they are facing a dilemma in Afghanistan as any decision in this regard has pros and cons.

Germany, one of NATO members has announced to keep troops in Afghanistan. It says that the intra-Afghan talks would give no results until March, so Berlin is preparing for a new scenario in Afghanistan.

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