Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General on Tuesday said that NATO and Allied forces “strongly support all efforts to try to find a peaceful negotiated solution” to the war in Afghanistan.
Stoltenberg made his remarks on the launch of NATO’s 2020 annual report.
He said, “That’s the reason why we welcome the US -Taliban agreement last year, and that’s the reason why we also support efforts to make progress in the peace process, and renewed efforts to try to strengthen the efforts to find a peaceful negotiated solution”.
“I think it’s also extremely important that all regional actors are taking part, they have their part of the responsibility for helping the peace process in Afghanistan, to go forward,” NATO Secretary-General added.
According to Stoltenberg NATO will soon discuss May 1st deadline in the upcoming Foreign Ministers Meeting.
“We will, of course, assess, we will discuss and consult in NATO, as we move closer to the 1st of May deadline” Stoltenberg added, “We also continue to demonstrate our commitment to the Afghan security forces, partly by continuing to train, assist and advise them, but also by continuing to provide funding for the Afghan security forces”.
“We will assess, we will monitor, we will consult, and then we will make the decision, as we move forward together as 30 allies, we have to remember that, of course, the US has a significant presence in Afghanistan as part of the NATO presence there,” he said.
Stoltenberg expressed that “now the majority of the troops in Afghanistan, the majority of the international troops in Afghanistan they are non-US – demonstrating the strong commitment of European allies, partners around the globe, to participate in the NATO mission in Afghanistan,”.
Meanwhile, President Ghani on Tuesday stressed ‘no transfer of authority without elections’, as pressures mount over the new proposed peace, which includes interim government.
Ghani indicated that he will never transfer Republic’s leadership without proper elections during a seminar on Afghanistan’s foreign policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The government’s peace roadmap will help to achieve the desired goals of national sovereignty, a republic system, national unity, neutrality, connection, and “lasting and just peace”, President Ghani said.
Tolonews quoted Ghani talking over the transfer of power, “If the Taliban are ready for elections tomorrow, we are also ready to participate in the elections, but I am not ready to transfer the power to my successor without elections. 42 years of war is enough, we also have the right to live in peace like other civilized nations of the world”.
This comes as US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met with Afghan peace advocates, civil society leaders, and media executives on preserving the gains of the past two decades.
They discussed strategies to accelerate peace efforts in Afghanistan, protection of women and girl’s rights, the importance of women’s involvement in the peace process.
Khalilzad has reportedly condemned the targeted attacks on journalists, media workers and civilians.
The impact of such violence on press freedom and reporting were also focused on.
Khalilzad has called for a thorough and expeditious investigation of the assassinations and prosecution of the perpetrators, he demanded protection for journalists and media workers throughout the country.
As peace efforts continuous the scheduled Moscow summit on Afghan reconciliation is also coming near, the Afghan delegation, led by Abdullah Abdullah is soon to fly for Moscow on Wednesday.
US Special Envoy for Afghan reconciliation Khalilzad is expected to join the Afghan delegation in the Moscow summit.