NATO allies stand firm in Afghanistan, says Stoltenberg

Salaam Times

LONDON -- NATO allies and partners stand shoulder to shoulder in Afghanistan to strengthen the Afghan security forces against international terrorism and create the conditions for lasting peace in the country, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Monday (October 14), according to a statement by the alliance.

"I commend the Afghan forces and the Afghan men and women for what they have achieved, and I commend the Afghan people who exercised their democratic right to vote in the recent presidential elections," Stoltenberg said at a plenary session of the NATO parliamentary assembly in London.

"We would welcome the resumption of these peace talks, but the Taliban must show willingness to make real compromises at the negotiating table," he said.

Stoltenberg criticised the Taliban for having no real commitment to lasting peace.

"Unfortunately, what we see now is that the Taliban are escalating violence, not ending it," he added. "This demonstrates a lack of commitment to lasting peace, and it proves the need for firm and credible guarantees for any future peace deal."

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