‘Real Peace Process’ Taking Place In Afghanistan: Stoltenberg

The NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg at a press briefing in Brussels on Wednesday said that “a real peace process” is taking place in Afghanistan and that the international community is closer to a peace deal in Afghanistan.

“We are close to peace deal now than we ever been before in Afghanistan,” Stoltenberg said. “All NATO allies strongly support the peace efforts and the best way to do that is to continue to stay committed to Afghanistan to continue to provide political support but continue to support the Afghan army and security forces with train and funding.”

NATO defense ministers will hold a two-day meeting on the alliance’s defense spending as well as Afghanistan among other issues.

“First I think we should all welcome the fact that there are talks. Because after years without a real peace process we have seen over the last months that there is a real process taking place. And there are talks between the Taliban and the United States,” he said.

“These talks are the only way to peace and ambassador [Zalmay] Khalilzad, the US peace negotiator is consulting closely with all NATO allies, he has been here in NATO Headquarters many times and they will continue to consult with allies,” he mentioned.

“One of the important aspects of any potential peace deal will be how can we have mechanism in place to make sure that it is respected, implemented, verifiable,” he said.

NATO Defence Ministers are meeting today (26 June 2019) to begin two days of talks on key security challenges, including Russia’s violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Ministers will discuss progress on burden sharing, NATO’s defense and deterrence posture, new technologies and NATO’s mission in Afghanistan.

Acting Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid will attend the NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

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