NATO is optimistic about the Afghanistan peace process but believes the road to peace will be long and hard, NATO chief said on Friday.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General speaking at a press conference following a North Atlantic meeting which was held in Brussels at Turkey’s request for Article 4 constitutions on the situation in Syria, addressed Afghanistan peace process in response to an Afghan journalist question.

We have seen a significant reduction in violence in Afghanistan over the last days and therefore we are also very close to signing of an agreement between the United States and the Taliban. This will be only the first, but very important first step towards a lasting peace agreement in Afghanistan,

Jens Stoltenberg said.

The only way to find a lasting sustainable peaceful solution to the conflict in Afghanistan is to have an inter-Afghan process, inter Afghan negotiations, and an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and that’s the next step. And the road to peace will be long and hard,

Stolteberg added.

The will be setbacks and there is a risk always for spoilers, but the thing is that we are committed, the Afghan people are committed to peace and we will continue to provide support, Jens added.

According to the NATO chief, NATO will continue to support Afghan forces with training and funding.

We will continue to support them because that’s the best way we can create the conditions for a peaceful negotiated solution in Afghanistan and I also would like to commend the Afghan security forces because they have made enormous progress, we have helped them, but they are now on the front line, and they are  providing security for the country and we will continue to provide support because that is the best way to support a peaceful solution,

Stoltenberg added.

This comes as the U.S and the Taliban will sign an agreement in Doha on Saturday while the U.S Secretary of Defense, Mike Esper and the NATO chief, Jens Stoltenberg will visit Afghanistan to announce a joint declaration with Afghan President.

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