NATO chief urges ‘negotiated settlement’ in Afghanistan
NATO Chief Jen Stoltenberg reiterated his call on Tuesday for a ‘negotiated settlement’ with Taliban in Afghanistan.
“The security situation in Afghanistan remains deeply challenging, and requires a negotiated settlement,” he said in a tweet after speaking with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Stoltenberg further said that NATO will continue to support Afghanistan with funding, civilian presence and out-of-country training.
The statement comes as the US and NATO pullout their forces from Afghanistan after 20-year long battle.
The agreement with Taliban on the US pullout was struck under the administration of former President Donald Trump.
In exchange for the US withdrawal, the Taliban has vowed to prevent any armed group from launching international attacks from the Afghan soil.
The group has also made a commitment to enter into talks with their Afghan rivals but little progress has been made in negotiations.
On the other hand, Taliban has been overrunning Afghanistan’s districts in rapid succession, many of them in the north of the country, which is dominated by Afghanistan’s minorities.
The north is the traditional stronghold of many former leaders who have been a dominant force in Afghanistan since driving the Taliban from power in 2001 together with the US-led coalition.
Several of the districts have been on key roads and one is on the border with northern Tajikistan. The Taliban have issued statements saying hundreds of Afghan security forces have surrendered, most of them going to their homes after receiving transportation money from the Taliban.
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