US, Taliban Talks Are ‘Very Sensitive’: Kay
The NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan Nicholas Kay said that the next round of the US and Taliban talks are “very sensitive” and that the alliance remains committed to continue providing support to Afghanistan so that the country does not again become a safe haven for international terrorists.
“We are continuing with our mission. I expect our Defence Ministers to send a strong signal of continued commitment,” Kay said in an interview with TOLOnews.
He said that the “real” negations will be between the Afghans.
“The Taliban must be ready for intra-Afghan negotiations, including with the Afghan government. In this respect, it will be advantageous if those Afghans who attend the negotiation process act on the basis of a united consensus on how to proceed,” he mentioned.
On the upcoming presidential elections, Kay said that Afghanistan should have a good qulity elections.
“They definitely are a high priority. The Independent Election Commission is working hard to draw from many lessons learned on the occasion of last year [parliamentary] elections,” he said.
“Preparations require to work extremely hard, including by listening to the advisers provided to assist the Afghan electoral authorities.Preparations also require a great effort to keep the public informed. At this stage elections are set for September; so preparations must continue to that effect,” he added.
On Wednesday, the NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg at a press briefing in Brussels 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.