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NATO ministers to hold meeting over situation in Afghanistan


MONITORING (SW) – NATO will address Afghanistan at a first opportunity for the Allies’ foreign ministers to engage in the lessons learnt process, said an official statement on Thursday.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the meetings of NATO Defence Ministers on 21 and 22 October at NATO Headquarters said Allies were faced with a very difficult dilemma in Afghanistan to leave and then risk Taliban returning or to stay and risk more casualties, more fighting, more violence.

“So, after extensive rounds of consultations among all allies, we agreed together to end our military presence in Afghanistan”, he said.

He said the lesson learned process has to focus on both what did not work, but also what worked. “Because it is of course a tragedy for the Afghan people, that Taliban is back, it’s heart-breaking for all of us who supported Afghanistan for so many years, but at the same time we should recognize that we actually made significant achievements”, he said.

He added the NATO mission was not in vain. “We prevented Afghanistan from being a safe haven for international terrorists, and prevented any attack against any NATO ally over 20 years. Now we will stay vigilant and preserve those gains. Not least by holding, using the leverage we have on the new Taliban regime to make sure that they live up to their commitments on terrorism, on human rights, and safe passage”.



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