Jens Stoltenberg: 2021 is a pivotal year for NATO because we need to decide on our presence in Afghanistan

Kabul (BNA) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the joint press point with Alexander Dobrindt, Chairman of the CSU Parliamentary Group, has said: 2021 is a pivotal year for NATO because we need to decide on our presence in Afghanistan. There are many challenges, and many uncertainties, but of course, the peace talks are the only path to peace, the only way forward to a peaceful negotiated solution, Secretary General said.

Jens Stoltenberg mentioned that Next month, NATO’s defense ministers will meet, and they need to decide whether to remain, whether to stay in Afghanistan with  military presence, and then risk being engaged in a prolonged military presence in Afghanistan, or whether to leave, but then risk that Afghanistan once again becomes a safe haven for international terrorists. Answering question about the conditions-based decision on withdrawal from Afghanistan, Jens Stoltenberg said: The more important thing is that we need to make sure that Afghanistan doesn’t once again become a safe haven for international terrorists. We have to understand that the reason why we went in to Afghanistan back in almost 20 years ago was the attack on a NATO ally, the 9/11 against the United States, and Taliban has the committed in the agreement with the United States to make sure that they don’t work with, they don’t support, they don’t help in any way provide any framework support for international terrorists. So the most important condition is to make sure that Taliban meets that requirement, that they break all ties with international terrorists, including al-Qaeda. We will of course assess the situation on the ground, we will assess the development in the peace talks and then make our decision.

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