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Real Peace Process Is Taking Place in Afghanistan: NATO Chief

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2019)

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.

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Taliban should cut ties with Pakistan: Ghani

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(Last Updated On: January 22, 2021)

President Ashraf Ghani has called on the Taliban to cut ties with Pakistan.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Ghani stated that the Taliban should not have a safe haven in Pakistan either.

“One of the basic needs for peace in Afghanistan is that the Taliban should cut their ties with Pakistan. If they call themselves Afghans and want to be in Afghanistan; they should not have dual citizenships,” said Ghani.

Ghani also urged Pakistan to play its positive role in the ongoing talks in Doha.

“I urged PM of Pakistan to tell Taliban that there is no solution without a political settlement,” said Ghani.

The President has also criticized the interim government plan, emphasizing a democratic process for the power transfer.

Ghani stated that he will transfer power to the Taliban if they are elected by the people in the elections.

 “We hope for peace, but we are ready for every danger,” Ghani said.

This comes as the Afghan government peace negotiators are in Doha to discuss the agenda for the negotiations with the Taliban delegates.

Ghani, however, said that in the end, it is the people of Afghanistan who would decide the outcome of the negotiations.

Meanwhile, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s foreign minister, on Thursday called on Joe Biden, the US president to follow up on the current Afghan peace process and US troops’ withdrawal from the country.

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Pakistan calls on Biden to stick to US-Taliban deal

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(Last Updated On: January 22, 2021)

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s foreign minister, on Thursday called on Joe Biden, the US president to follow up on the current Afghan peace process and US troops’ withdrawal from the country, reported Al Jazeera.

“I think they should realise there is an opportunity in Afghanistan and they should persevere with what was initiated and not reverse things,” said Qureshi quoted by Al Jazeera.

This comes as Intra-Afghan talks are continuing in the Qatari capital Doha but progress remains slow.

Under last year’s US-Taliban deal, all US troops are due to leave Afghanistan by April.

“We are concerned because we feel violence can vitiate the climate,” said Qureshi quoted by Aljazeera.

“Pakistan has done a lot, we have really bent backwards to create an environment to facilitate the peace process,” he said, while blaming “spoilers” for the violence, identifying them as internal Afghan players.

This comes as violence has been increased recently, with a surge in targeted attacks and bombings across the country for which the Afghan government has blamed the Taliban.

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NATO stands ready to adjust its presence in Afghanistan: Stoltenberg

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(Last Updated On: January 22, 2021)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu reiterated NATO Support toward Afghan peace process, adding that NATO will address its training mission in Afghanistan in February.

Stoltenberg quoted by NATO website said that “whatever path we choose, it is important that we do so together, in a coordinated and deliberate way.”

NATO also support the Afghan peace process and said the organization stands ready to adjust its presence in Afghanistan.

 “NATO supports the Afghan peace talks and, as part of this process, stands ready to further adjust its presence,” said NATO, quoted by the website.

This comes as NATO had said they will continue Resolute Support mission (RS) mission in Afghanistan to train advice and assist Afghan forces.

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