Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, December 15th, 2017

NATO Eyes Strengthening Military Presence in Afghanistan

NATO Eyes Strengthening Military Presence  in Afghanistan

KABUL - NATO foreign ministerial meeting kicked off on Tuesday in Brussels to discuss the Alliance’s continuing adaptation in the face of diverse and evolving security challenges, according to a media reports.
The Ministerial meeting agenda would be NATO’s role in projecting stability and fighting terrorism. Acknowledging what the Alliance has already done – including boosting its training mission in Afghanistan, and working with partners like Jordan and Tunisia to strengthen their defences.
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said ministers would consider how NATO’s role in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS “should evolve, as the Global Coalition moves from combat operations to stabilisation efforts.”
The Ministerial meeting will conclude with a discussion on NATO’s Open Door policy and “how best to support those countries which aspire to join our community of shared security and shared values.”
According to the NATO Resolute Support (RS) mission, the agenda of the 5-6 December meetings of NATO Foreign Ministers did not include a dedicated discussion on Afghanistan thus there will not be a meeting in Resolute Support format; and the Afghan Foreign Minister will not be in attendance.
Talking to reporters at the pre-Ministerial press conference NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg highlighted the alliance gains and continued commitment to Afghanistan.
Stoltenberg agreed with General John Nicholson who earlier said the Taliban had three options to join peace process, they will go in isolation or they will be killed.
He added, there was need to strengthen NATO military presence with more trainers, with more advice to break the stalemate, to enable the Afghan Forces to regain territory, to send a clear message to the Taliban and to the terrorists that they will not win on the battlefield. So they have to sit down at the negotiating table and find a negotiated solution.
“The situation in Afghanistan is difficult. We see violence. We see terrorist attacks. The Afghan National Security Forces have suffered casualties. But at the same time we see some progress. We have for instance seen that this year the Taliban has not been able to gain control or take control over any of the provincial capitals, despite that that was one of the declared strategic goals of the Taliban this fighting season. And we have also seen that the Afghan National Security Forces are able to respond every time the Taliban and insurgents are attacking,” he added.
When asked about US defence Secretary James Mattis trip and CIA director warning to Pakistan the secretary general said they welcomed the fact that Secretary Mattis recently visited Pakistan.
“I think it’s important to have close dialogue with the countries in the region because we need their support to fight terrorism, to fight the Haqqani network, and to help to stabilize Afghanistan. And I had also the pleasure of travelling together with Secretary Mattis.”
He added NATO had decided to strengthen its presence in Afghanistan with more trainers, with more troops in our train assisted advice mission.
“we have also then to engage in dialogue with neighbours, including Pakistan, to make sure that there are no sanctuaries, no safe havens for international terrorists outside Afghanistan, which help and support insurgents inside Afghanistan,” he added. (Pajhwok)