NATO Secretary General says the alliance must continue its efforts to ensure Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for the international insurgent groups.
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg delivered the remarks while addressing a press conference on Monday ahead of the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting.
Stoltenberg said that the challenge in Afghanistan is “great” and that NATO allies have suffered fatalities in recent months, as have Afghan forces and civilians.
“We must continue to ensure that the country never again becomes a safe haven for international terrorists,” he said.
He noted that NATO has stepped up its support to Afghanistan, with more forces and funding. “Because the cost of leaving is bigger than the cost of staying,” Stoltenberg said.
It comes as NATO Foreign Ministers are meeting this week to address a wide range of security challenges, including Russia’s “destabilizing behavior, violent extremism in the Middle East and North Africa and continuing instability in Afghanistan”.