Fri. Feb 28th, 2020

NATO asks the Taliban for real will to reduce violence



NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenerg urged the Taliban on Wednesday to show “true will” to reduce violence in Afghanistan and “ability” to do so, so that they can engage in “credible” peace negotiations.

“It is extremely important to send a clear message to the Taliban that they have to demonstrate a true will and ability to reduce violence and engage in credible peace talks,” Stoltenberg told reporters upon arrival at a meeting of Defense Ministers. of the Alliance.

In that meeting, the ministers will address issues such as the role of NATO in Afghanistan and what else they can do against international terrorism in the Middle East.

“We would celebrate any step that could lead to a reduction in violence” in Afghanistan, Stoltenberg made clear.

The Taliban have proposed a reduction of violence in that country, a breakthrough with a view to reaching an agreement in negotiations with the United States stalled for several months, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani reported Tuesday.

The proposal, which has been one of the main demands of the US negotiators and the Government of Kabul, was revealed by the Afghan president after a telephone conversation with the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Stoltenberg said that NATO remains involved in Afghanistan through its mission of advising, supporting and training the security forces and financing provided by the allies.

“It is the best support we can give,” he said, while maintaining his conviction that the Taliban “will never win on the battlefield” and that “they have to sit down and negotiate.”

In addition to the role that the United States plays in the Taliban negotiations, the Allied Secretary General welcomed Germany and Norway’s offer to facilitate talks between Afghans “if we see progress and that dialogue begins.”

On the military training mission that NATO maintains in Iraq and that it currently has its activities suspended in the face of increased tension in the region, the Norwegian politician said that “we are there at the invitation of the Iraqi Government.”

“We will only stay there as long as we are welcomed by the Iraqi Government,” he said, and he hoped that in the two-day meeting that begins today the ministers “commit themselves to that mission again but also do more to give more support to Iraq.” , in line with the US request that NATO amplify its role in the area.

“It is important that the Islamic State never come back,” he said.

Regarding the abandonment by the US and Russia of the treaty for the elimination of missiles, nuclear or conventional, of intermediate and short range (INF) that both powers signed in 1987, Stoltenberg said that NATO “he will respond” but without “ringing what Russia does: we will not deploy new nuclear-capable missiles in Europe.”

“We will work on different efforts that include conventional capabilities, we will look at our nuclear strategy, we will look at our missile air defense and exercises,” he said, adding that “we want to avoid a new arms race, which would be dangerous and also extremely expensive,” and favor control. of weapons because “it is the best to placate tensions.”

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