Addressing a press conference following NATO Defense Ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Friday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said partners of the alliance will increase their contributions to the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.
He expressed his confidence that NATO leaders will agree to extend funding to the Afghan Security Forces to 2024 when they meet at the alliance’s summit next month.
“Our aim is to strengthen the Afghan security forces so they can create the conditions for a peaceful solution,” the Secretary General said.
Meanwhile, he praised President Ashraf Ghani’s recent offer of peace talks with the Taliban, stressing that “an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process is essential to a long-term, inclusive political settlement”.
The US Defense Secretary James Mattis meanwhile said the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan is committed to implementing the US strategy on South Asia.
Mattis he welcomes the ceasefire announcement by the Afghan government as he addresses a press conference in Brussels.
During their two-day meeting, NATO defense ministers also took decisions to strengthen the Alliance’s deterrence and defense, discussed means of enhancing efforts to project stability and fight terrorism, and explored ways of further boosting cooperation with the European Union.
It was the last meeting of NATO Ministers before the Summit in Brussels on 11-12 July.