NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern said that “the purpose of our presence in Afghanistan is to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for international terrorism”.


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern said that “the purpose of our presence in Afghanistan is to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for international terrorism”.
“It’s still a difficult situation in Afghanistan, but we strongly believe that the best way to help to stabilize the country is to train the forces, build local capacity so they can stabilize their own country,” NATO said a newsletter sent to DID Press agency.

During a meeting, the two sides discussed how New Zealand and NATO can best coordinate their efforts in the fight against terrorism, both in Afghanistan, in Iraq and elsewhere.
“We saw the consequences back in 2001, when the 11/9 attacks on the United States were organised and planned from Afghanistan. And that’s the reason why we went in,” NATO Secretary General said, appreciating NATO allies’ contribution, particularly New Zealand, in Afghanistan.

The Resolute Support Mission, which New Zealand is contributing to, is a train, assist and advice mission, where we help the Afghans stabilise their own country and the Afghans are now taking over responsibility for the security in their own country.
“We strongly support the efforts to find a peaceful and negotiated solution to the crisis in Afghanistan,” Jens Stoltenberg said in response to a question.

The NATO Secretary General also said that he hopes the peace talks between US and the Taliban can lead towards a process which includes the Afghan government as well.
“We welcome the initiative taken by President Ghani and we welcome also the talks between the US and the Taliban, and we hope that that can lead towards a process which includes, of course, the Afghan government,”

In another part of his rhetoric, Mr Stoltenberg stressed that the purpose of our military presence in Afghanistan is to send a message to the Taliban that they will not win on the battlefield. So, they have to sit down at the negotiating table and find a political solution.
“I will expect that a political solution, a peace agreement in Afghanistan will also address the issue of presence of troops from other countries, including NATO, but it’s much too early to speculate exactly what kind of consequences that will have,” he said.
“A new peace agreement will have an important consequence for NATO presence in Afghanistan,” he added.


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