The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Taliban and other insurgent groups to stop killing their fellow Afghans and sit down at negotiating table.
Addressing a joint press conference on Tuesday with President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul, Stoltenberg underlined that NATO’s support for Afghanistan will continue.
“NATO is determined to see Afghanistan succeed. That’s why around 16,000 troops from 39 countries serve in our Resolute Support Mission,” he said.
Praising the Afghan military forces for “bravery and loyalty”, NATO Chief called on the Taliban and other militant groups to “stop killing their follow Afghans”
“The Taliban must understand that continuing the fight is pointless and counterproductive. To be part of Afghanistan’s future, they must sit down at the negotiating table,” he said.
The Secretary General further stressed the need for an inclusive Afghan-owned and led peace process.
“The potential for peace is greater now than it has been in many years,” Stoltenberg said. “We count on the government to meet its commitments for good governance, the rule of law, fighting corruption and protecting the rights of all – especially women.”
The NATO Secretary General, meanwhile, congratulated the Afghan government on the recent parliamentary elections.
“For the first time, the Afghan forces assumed responsibility for security during the election,” he said, calling it “an important achievement,” he said: “I look forward to a smooth completion of the election process, and to the presidential election in the spring of next year.”
In the visit, Stoltenberg is accompanied by the Chairman of the Military Committee, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti.
He and his delegation are attending a ministerial meeting chaired by National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib.
The Secretary General’s delegation are also expected to meet with the Commander of the Resolute Support Mission, General Austin Miller, and with NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, Ambassador Cornelius Zimmermann, as well as with Allied ambassadors, and with representatives of the European Union and United Nations.