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Stoltenberg says Afghan peace process showing ‘encouraging progress’

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KABUL: The NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the NATO will maintain and remain committed to its presence in Afghanistan because this is the best to support the peace efforts.

Addressing journalists ahead of a two-day European Union Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels, Stoltenberg said: “We will address missions and operations. I will update the ministers on NATO’s presence in Afghanistan. 

“We stay committed to our presence there because we believe that’s the best way to support the peace efforts and we see some encouraging progress” on the start of intra-Afghan negotiations. 

He also said he would update the ministers on NATO’s work on how to step up the organization’s presence in Iraq. 

“Training local forces, training Iraqi security forces, building local capacity is the best way to prevent that ISIS is able to return, and both in Afghanistan and Iraq, NATO and the European Union are working very closely together, and we are now stepping up our efforts in Iraq.”

This is as NATO earlier said to deliver sustainable peace to the Afghan people, the only way is to have the Afghan-owned and led peace process. This process is aimed at finding a political resolution that ends decades of conflict and to ensure Afghanistan’s long-term security and stability. 

NATO also stated that the current level of violence – driven especially by Taliban attacks against Afghan National Defense and Security Forces – remains unacceptably high, causing instability and undermining confidence in the peace process.

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