“We are closer to a peace deal than ever before,” Stoltenberg said at a press conference during visit to New Zealand.
He said that NATO strongly supports all efforts to achieve a negotiated solution in Afghanistan.
Stoltenberg thanked New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her decision to extend her country’s deployment in the NATO training mission.
“Your trainers at the National Army Defence Academy in Kabul are helping the Afghans create the conditions for peace, and preventing Afghanistan from ever again becoming a safe haven for international terrorism,” Stoltenberg said.
US talks with the Taliban have focused on counter-terrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan talks and ceasefire.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said on Monday reported “excellent progress” in recent round of talks with the Taliban.
“My team & Taliban representatives will continue to discuss technical details as well as steps and mechanisms required for a succesful implementation of the four-part agreement we’ve been working toward since my appointment. Agreement on these details is essential,” Khalilzad said on Twitter.