LONDON (SW) - The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said the Alliance would welcome the resumption of peace talks, but then Taliban must show willingness to make real compromises at the negotiating table.
Addressing the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Plenary Session at London, Queen Elizabeth II Center, he said unfortunately the Taliban are escalating violence, not ending it.
'NATO Allies and partners continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in Afghanistan to make the Afghan security forces stronger, so that they can fight international terrorism, and create the conditions for lasting peace in Afghanistan', he said.
He added this demonstrates a lack of commitment to lasting peace, and it proves the need for firm and credible guarantees for any future peace deal.
''I commend the Afghan forces, and the Afghan men and women for what they have achieved, and I commend the Afghan people who exercised their democratic right to vote in the recent presidential elections'', he said.
Stoltenberg said NATO remains committed to Afghanistan and to ensure the country never again becomes a safe haven for international terrorists.
This comes as the U.S. officials and representatives of the Afghan Taliban have begun discussing ways to revive a peace process after talks fell apart last month, according to people familiar with the discussions, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.
It said the top U.S. envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, met international diplomatic counterparts in New York in late September and met with the Taliban in Pakistan earlier this month. The meetings touched on confidence-building measures that could include a possible prisoner swap or a reduction in violence, according to the people familiar with the discussions, said the report.
President Trump last month declared that talks with the Taliban were dead, and abruptly canceled plans to meet Taliban officials at the Camp David presidential retreat to complete an agreement hashed out during a year of bilateral talks, amid opposition from top aides and cabinet members.