Speaking in an exclusive interview with 1TV during visit to Kabul, Stoltenberg said that he expects Afghanistan will have “free, transparent and well-organized” elections.
He said that the recent election drew high turnout despite threats from the Taliban, adding it was a strong demonstration of confidence in the democratic institutions of Afghanistan.
According to Stoltenberg, a strong, democratic, stable Afghanistan is not only good for Afghans, but also for NATO allies.
He described peaceful concession of power as one of the most important characteristics of a stable, democratic Afghanistan.
Asked about Moscow format consultations, the next round of which will be held on Friday, Stoltenberg reiterated that the only way to find a political solution is to have an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. He called on regional actors and stakeholders to support such process.
According to Stoltenberg, there have been some encouraging signs for peace including a ceasefire in June and preliminary talks between US and the Taliban.
“US efforts are closely coordinated with Afghanistan,” Stoltenberg said. “I don’t think it is an easy and quick way to peace, but that is the only political solution to the conflict and the crisis in Afghanistan.”
He called on the Taliban enter into peace talks as he said that their fighting is pointless and counterproductive.
Stoltenberg said that NATO presence in Afghanistan will be conditions-based and it has no fixed time table.
He also called on regional countries not to provide support or sanctuaries to insurgent groups.
Source : Afghan Voice Agency(AVA)
Wednesday 7 November 2018 18:34