NATO presence in Afghanistan conditions-based: Stoltenberg

Kabul, Oct 24 (IANS) As peace negotiations continue, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that the ongoing talks in Doha were “fragile” and that the presence of the international forces in the country was conditions-based.Stoltenberg ade the remarks at a NATO defence ministerial on Friday where he reiterated that a recent attack on the forces in Kandahar indicates that the situation in Afghanistan remains challenging, reports TOLO NEws. “As part of the peace process, NATO has adjusted its military presence in Afghanistan. And our presence is conditions-based. Any future adjustments must depend on progress in the peace talks and the conditions on the ground,” Stoltenberg said. He added that Doha talks, between negotiating teams from the Afghan republic and the Taliban, provide an historic opportunity for peace in Afghanistan. Stoltenberg said “NATO supports the peace process in Afghanistan” and that “the Doha talks are fragile, but the best chance for peace”. “The Taliban must reduce the unacceptable levels of violence to pave the way to a ceasefire,” Stoltenberg said. “They must break all ties with Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations so that Afghanistan never again serves as a platform for terrorist attacks on our countries. “The NATO chief said the achievements of Afghans over the last two decades should be preserved. “At the end of the day, peace in Afghanistan has to be created by the Afghans and stabilize their country,” said NATO chief. –IANSksk/

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