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NATO insists on ‘preserving gains’ as U.S.-Taliban peace talks gain momentum

The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg insisted on ‘preserving gains’ in Afghanistan as the U.S. and Taliban peace talks gain momentum.
NATO insists on ‘preserving gains’ as U.S.-Taliban peace talks gain momentum

Stoltenberg said “First of all I strongly support and welcome the talks which are now taking place between the United States and Taliban. Second, I welcome also that there is a very close coordination between the United States and other NATO Allies on this issue.”
He made the remarks in response to a question regarding a possible peace deal between U.S. and Taliban and future of NATO forces in Afghanistan considering the likely pullout of U.S. troops from the country.
Meanwhile, the NATO Secretary General said “I spoke with Ambassador Khalilzad a few days ago. He has been here many times. He has briefed Allies and partners who are in Afghanistan. And we will continue to be very closely coordinated on the peace process in Afghanistan.”
However, he said “But as Ambassador Khalilzad has said many times – nothing is agreed before everything is agreed. We are closer to a peace agreement now in Afghanistan than we have been ever before. But we are still not there that we can announce the agreement. I hope we can do that in the near future but no one can say anything with certainty before everything is in place.”
Furthermore, Stoltenberg said “What is certain is that we will do this together. Because there is a NATO mission in Afghanistan with around 16,000 troops. And non-US Allies and partners have been in Afghanistan for many many years – for almost close to 20 years. And we went in together. We will make decisions on our future presence together and when the time is right we will leave together.”
He also added “So we welcome the efforts. We strongly support the work to establish inter-Afghan dialogue because the Afghan government has to be part of a peace process.”
In the meantime, Stoltenberg said “And we have to do whatever we can to preserve the gains we have made in Afghanistan – to avoid Afghanistan becoming a safe haven once again for international terrorists and to maintain the enormous social and economic progress which has been made in Afghanistan not least when it comes to the rights of women.”
He said “So there are many challenges ahead but I welcome the fact that we are making progress in the dialogue with Taliban.”
Source : Afghan Voice Agency(AVA)
Saturday 3 August 2019 11:11
Story Code: 189407 Copy text available
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