Latest news
Thumbnail
Afghanistan

Stoltenberg Says Situation In Afghanistan ‘Still Difficult’

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said the situation in Afghanistan is still “difficult” but reiterated that the best solution was a political one to end the war. 

He also said that NATO welcomed this week’s talks between the US and Taliban but said he hoped the process would result in direct talks between Kabul and the Taliban.  
Addressing a joint news conference with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the NATO headquarters on Friday, Jen Stoltenberg also voiced his appreciation for New Zealand’s help in Afghanistan. 

“We welcome very much the close partnership … We see that in Afghanistan where we have been working together for many years and New Zealand has contributed with personnel to the National Army Defense Academy, helping to train and educate Afghan soldiers and officers. 

Stoltenberg went on to say NATO’s objective in Afghanistan was to prevent the country “once again becoming a safe haven for international terrorism.” 

He said: “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.
We’re also happy and glad that New Zealand plays a valuable role in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.”

Stoltenberg said New Zealand was one of many partners helping and supporting the NATO mission in Afghanistan and reiterated that these partnerships were critical so as not to allow Afghanistan does not once again becomes a safe haven for international terrorism. 

“We saw the consequences back in 2001, when the 9/11 attacks on the United States were organized/planned, from Afghanistan. And that’s the reason why we went in.

He raised the issue of people asking why should NATO continue after so long in Afghanistan and said: “Then I think it's important to remember that not many years ago we were part of a big combat operation, with more than 100,000 troops in combat operations in Afghanistan. 

“Now, the NATO mission, which is supported… the Resolute Support Mission, which New Zealand is contributing to, is a train, assist and advice mission, where we help the Afghans stabilize their own country and the Afghans are now taking over responsibility for the security in their own country. 

“And we highly value the contribution from New Zealand because it's high quality; the personnel from New Zealand are very committed, they are playing a key role in helping to educate and to build a national defense academy. And that’s the best way to help Afghanistan, and that is to help them develop their own forces, so they can create security in their own country themselves.”

Asked about peace negotiations and whether any possible changes will be made should such an agreement be reached, Stoltenberg said NATO strongly supports all peace efforts and welcomed President Ashraf Ghani’s initiative to end the war. 

“First of all, we strongly support the efforts to find a peaceful and negotiated solution to the crisis in Afghanistan. And 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. 

“I will not speculate about the likelihood of a success, but it is extremely important to support those efforts,” Stoltenberg said. 

He said the way NATO supports those efforts is to support the Afghan government: political support, practical support, and also through military presence as “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,” he said. 

“Then 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, because that will depend on the character of the agreement. 

“We are ready to continue a partnership, the cooperation with Afghanistan and our presence is conditions-based and of course, a new peace agreement will have an important consequence for NATO presence in Afghanistan,” Stoltenberg said.

Not many years ago, the alliance had been part of a big combat operation, with more than 100,000 troops in a combat effort in Afghanistan, the secretary general continued.

“But the Resolute Support, which New Zealand is contributing to, is a train, assist and advice mission, helps the Afghans stabilise their own country and the Afghans are now taking over responsibility for security.

“And we highly value the contribution from New Zealand; the personnel from New Zealand are very committed, they are playing a key role in helping to educate and to build a national defence academy. And that’s the best way to help Afghanistan, and that is to help them develop their own forces, so they can create security in their own country themselves.”

In response to a query, he said NATO strongly supported efforts for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the crisis in Afghanistan. “We welcome the initiative taken by President Ghani and we welcome also talks between the US and the Taliban, and we hope that that can lead towards a process which includes, of course, the Afghan government.

“The way NATO supports those efforts is to support the Afghan government: political support, practical support, and also through our military presence, because 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.”

He believed a political solution, a peace agreement in Afghanistan, would also address the issue of the presence of troops from other countries, including NATO. However, he explained, it was much too early to speculate exactly what kind of consequences that would have.

“We are ready to continue a partnership, cooperation with Afghanistan and our presence is conditions-based and of course, a new peace agreement will have an important consequence for NATO presence in Afghanistan.”

Afghanistan

Stoltenberg Says Situation In Afghanistan ‘Still Difficult’

NATO’s chief said their main goal was still to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for terrorists. 

Thumbnail

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said the situation in Afghanistan is still “difficult” but reiterated that the best solution was a political one to end the war. 

He also said that NATO welcomed this week’s talks between the US and Taliban but said he hoped the process would result in direct talks between Kabul and the Taliban.  
Addressing a joint news conference with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the NATO headquarters on Friday, Jen Stoltenberg also voiced his appreciation for New Zealand’s help in Afghanistan. 

“We welcome very much the close partnership … We see that in Afghanistan where we have been working together for many years and New Zealand has contributed with personnel to the National Army Defense Academy, helping to train and educate Afghan soldiers and officers. 

Stoltenberg went on to say NATO’s objective in Afghanistan was to prevent the country “once again becoming a safe haven for international terrorism.” 

He said: “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.
We’re also happy and glad that New Zealand plays a valuable role in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.”

Stoltenberg said New Zealand was one of many partners helping and supporting the NATO mission in Afghanistan and reiterated that these partnerships were critical so as not to allow Afghanistan does not once again becomes a safe haven for international terrorism. 

“We saw the consequences back in 2001, when the 9/11 attacks on the United States were organized/planned, from Afghanistan. And that’s the reason why we went in.

He raised the issue of people asking why should NATO continue after so long in Afghanistan and said: “Then I think it's important to remember that not many years ago we were part of a big combat operation, with more than 100,000 troops in combat operations in Afghanistan. 

“Now, the NATO mission, which is supported… the Resolute Support Mission, which New Zealand is contributing to, is a train, assist and advice mission, where we help the Afghans stabilize their own country and the Afghans are now taking over responsibility for the security in their own country. 

“And we highly value the contribution from New Zealand because it's high quality; the personnel from New Zealand are very committed, they are playing a key role in helping to educate and to build a national defense academy. And that’s the best way to help Afghanistan, and that is to help them develop their own forces, so they can create security in their own country themselves.”

Asked about peace negotiations and whether any possible changes will be made should such an agreement be reached, Stoltenberg said NATO strongly supports all peace efforts and welcomed President Ashraf Ghani’s initiative to end the war. 

“First of all, we strongly support the efforts to find a peaceful and negotiated solution to the crisis in Afghanistan. And 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. 

“I will not speculate about the likelihood of a success, but it is extremely important to support those efforts,” Stoltenberg said. 

He said the way NATO supports those efforts is to support the Afghan government: political support, practical support, and also through military presence as “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,” he said. 

“Then 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, because that will depend on the character of the agreement. 

“We are ready to continue a partnership, the cooperation with Afghanistan and our presence is conditions-based and of course, a new peace agreement will have an important consequence for NATO presence in Afghanistan,” Stoltenberg said.

Not many years ago, the alliance had been part of a big combat operation, with more than 100,000 troops in a combat effort in Afghanistan, the secretary general continued.

“But the Resolute Support, which New Zealand is contributing to, is a train, assist and advice mission, helps the Afghans stabilise their own country and the Afghans are now taking over responsibility for security.

“And we highly value the contribution from New Zealand; the personnel from New Zealand are very committed, they are playing a key role in helping to educate and to build a national defence academy. And that’s the best way to help Afghanistan, and that is to help them develop their own forces, so they can create security in their own country themselves.”

In response to a query, he said NATO strongly supported efforts for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the crisis in Afghanistan. “We welcome the initiative taken by President Ghani and we welcome also talks between the US and the Taliban, and we hope that that can lead towards a process which includes, of course, the Afghan government.

“The way NATO supports those efforts is to support the Afghan government: political support, practical support, and also through our military presence, because 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.”

He believed a political solution, a peace agreement in Afghanistan, would also address the issue of the presence of troops from other countries, including NATO. However, he explained, it was much too early to speculate exactly what kind of consequences that would have.

“We are ready to continue a partnership, cooperation with Afghanistan and our presence is conditions-based and of course, a new peace agreement will have an important consequence for NATO presence in Afghanistan.”

Share this post