The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday said that the international community is closer to a peace deal in Afghanistan than ever before.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the meeting of NATO Defense Ministers in Brussels, Stoltenberg said that all NATO Allies strongly support the Afghan peace efforts.
He added that NATO will continue to provide political and military support to Afghanistan.
NATO Chief stressed that after many years, a real peace process is taking place in war-torn Afghanistan.
“After years without a real peace process we have seen over the last months that there is a real process taking place,” Stoltenberg said.
He further said that there are talks between the Taliban and the United States to end the Afghan war.
“These talks are the only way to peace and Ambassador [Zalmay] Khalilzad, the U.S. negotiator is consulting closely with all NATO Allies,” he said.
Stoltenberg said the U.S. chief negotiator has been consulting with NATO Allies because roughly half of the troops in the Resolute Support Mission are non-U.S. troops.
“One of the important aspects of any potential peace deal will be how can we have a mechanism in place to make sure that it is respected, implemented, verifiable,” Stoltenberg said when he was asked about Taliban’s sincerity to their commitment.
“The Taliban has to understand that they will never win on the battlefield. They have to sit down at the negotiating table,” NATO Chief concluded.
NATO Defense Ministers meeting kicked off today in Brussels where they will discuss a range of topics including NATO’s mission in Afghanistan.
Assadullah Khalid, the Acting Defense Minister of Afghanistan is set to attend the meeting in Brussels on Thursday.