Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

2-Day NATO Summit Seen as Vital for Afghanistan

2-Day NATO Summit  Seen as Vital for Afghanistan

KABUL - Some political experts say the upcoming NATO summit -- coming at a decisive time -- will have a lot of importance for Afghanistan.
The summit, scheduled for July 11 and 12 in Brussels, may be attended by President Ashraf Ghani and his Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.
A dedication session on Afghanistan is to be held on July 12 when allies will make decisions about the Resolute Support mission and financial support for Afghan security forces.
ShafiqHamdam, a political analyst and former NATO advisor in Afghanistan, says the summit is not only important for allies but also for Afghanistan.
All NATO allies, particularly the US, would reaffirm their commitments to financial support for the Afghan national security forces until 2024, he said. Negotiation between the Afghan government and Taliban would also be discussed.
“I think NATO forces’ stay in Afghanistan will also be discussed in addition to the peace process.”
He believed the participation of President Ghani and his CEO would not be symbolic as they would strive to hold bilateral and trilateral meetings with allies on attracting their financial support.
There would be a discussion of President Trump’s strategy for South Asia. Afghan and Americans officials would assess the enforcement of Trump’s policy, he added.
Intizar Khadem, an international affairs expert, called the forthcoming meeting vital for Afghanistan. He believed it would not be just another summit.
He said peace -- not war -- would be the main topic for NATO allies. Decisions would be made about financial support for Afghan forces, he hoped.
“One critical issue is that the international community should put pressure on the US to push Taliban to the negotiating table and thereby improve prospects for ending the conflict,” he said.
According to Khadim, restoration of peace -- vital for Afghanistan-- will top the summit agenda. An strategy should be devised to convince Pakistan into backing the Afghan peace parleys, he suggested.
Mushtaq Rahim, another commentator, also opined the event would be important because the Afghan government had already stepped up efforts for making peace with the Taliban.
He said seeking support from NATO allies in the current situation would be decisive for Afghanistan.
Political observer JavedGhafoor made similar remarks, saying the peace process would be accelerated with the support of NATO allies.
He said Saudi Arabia would also host an ulema conference and the two events will pressurise Pakistan and Taliban on the issue of peace parleys. (Pajhwok)