Stoltenberg following the second day of the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in Brussels on Friday, stated in a tweet: “Our fight against terrorism was top of the agenda at today’s Defence Ministerial meeting.”
“NATO supports the peace process in Afghanistan. The Doha talks are fragile, but the best chance for peace. We also tasked our military commanders to expand our mission in Iraq,” he said.
Addressing the meeting, NATO Chief noted that the organization supports the US – Taliban deal and the Afghan Peace Negotiations.
“There is a historic opportunity for peace,” he said.
“And as part of the peace process, NATO has adjusted its military presence in Afghanistan. And our presence is conditions-based.”
Stoltenberg pointed out that any future adjustments of the NATO troops in Afghanistan must depend on progress in the peace talks and the conditions on the ground.
“The Taliban must reduce the unacceptable levels of violence, to pace the way to a ceasefire. They must break all ties with Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations so that Afghanistan never again serves as a platform for terrorist attacks on our countries.”
“It is important to preserve the gains made over the last two decades with so much sacrifice. Not least for women and girls, so that peace benefits every Afghan and is sustainable in the long-term,” NATO Secretary-General further said.
The long-waited intra-Afghan talks, aimed to find a political settlement for the conflict in the country, was started six weeks ago. Despite several meetings between the negotiating teams of the Afghan government and the Taliban, the talks yet see any progress.