Conflict Politics

NATO Summit and the Afghan Peace Process

Islamabad/Arshad Mehmood

-NATO mission in Afghanistan remains a top priority. Defense Ministers concluded.

 

-No unilateral troops reduction in Afghanistan.PENTAGON chief told in Brussels.

NATO Defence Ministers concluded two days of discussions in Brussels. They particularly discussed the Afghan peace process. Defense Ministers also discussed arms control, current operations and missions, burden-sharing, and European defense.

During the speech in the conference, The PENTAGON acting chief and acting US  Secretary of Defence  Parick  Shanahan said that NATO  will continue its mission for developing the capabilities of  Afghan national Defence and Security forces.

During the briefing, Shanahan said that “NATO is coordinated and aligned. We are together. We are helping to ensure a diplomatic settlement, with Ambassador Khalilzad in the lead.”

Quoting about the ongoing peace efforts, the Acting Secretary of Defense said, No outcome is predetermined, but as President Trump said in the State of the Union address, after two decades of war, the hour has come to try for peace.

Speaking about the possible  U.S. withdrawal plans from Afghanistan, Shanahan said “There will be no unilateral troop reduction. I mean, that was one of the messages of the meeting today. We’ll be coordinated. We’re together, he further told.

“President Trump said this is an opportunity for peace. Let’s not let this opportunity be stolen away from us. And so what we talked about was how do we double down in our support for Afghan national defense and security forces to put even more pressure on the Taliban? We talked about no division, alliance, and unity, and that’s how we walked out of the room,” he further added.

Meanwhile, Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO briefed the Media persons on the conclusion of the second-day meeting that focused on NATO’s mission and operations in Afghanistan.NATO Allies are in Afghanistan together “and we will take decisions regarding the future of the mission together, the Secretary-General said.

“The situation in Afghanistan remains difficult. But we also see the ongoing peace process. Our Resolute Support Mission continues to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces, as they fight terrorism and create the conditions for peace,”  Stoltenberg further told.

He further expressed his satisfaction regarding the Afghan peace process coordination between Zalmay Khalilzad, US special envoy for Afghan peace and the NATO allies.

Talking about the NATO role in Afghanistan Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg further said that, We are in this mission together and we will take decisions regarding the future of the mission together. And of course, our military commanders are constantly assessing our posture, as they do for any mission.

Oana Lngescue, the NATO spoke person tweeted that the NATO mission in Afghanistan remains a top priority and, NATO fully support the peace efforts of Zalmay Khalilzad.

NATO is now looking forward to celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Alliance in Washington in April 2019, which is a further opportunity to discuss current and future security challenges.

 

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