MONITORING (SW) – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said future presence of forces in Afghanistan will depend on a potential peace deal, but it is too early to speculate on this matter.
He said this addressing a press conference at the NATO headquarters in Brussles ahead of the alliance's defense ministers’ meeting on Wednesday. Stoltenberg stressed the Taliban should know that they will not win on the battlefield. “Our continued commitment, both with forces and funding is key to creating the conditions for peace in Afghanistan”, he said.
“While the security situation remains serious, we see a unique opportunity for peace. Allies fully support U.S. efforts to reach a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan”, he said.
He said the at the meeting on Wednesday, the ministers will discuss how NATO's defense planning process will be used to ensure Allies are investing in new technologies, how joint capability development provides access to cutting-edge capabilities which individual Allies could not afford alone, like next-generation NATO surveillance drones and planes, and how NATO sets standards to ensure our forces can operate seamlessly together.
The mnisters will also approve NATO's first-ever space policy, he said.
Finally, NATO will host a meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. “The Coalition has made remarkable progress. “Retaking all the territory once held by ISIS terrorists. Now we must ensure that they do not come back. This is why NATO's training mission in Iraq is so important. And why we will continue our efforts together with Allies and partners in the Global Coalition”, he said.