KABUL (SW) - Nicholas Kay, NATO's Senior Civilian Representative for Afghanistan, sees tensions between President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah as serious and urges them not to spare any effort to reach an agreement.
In an exclusive interview with Salam Watandar, he asked former President Hamid Karzai, former Vice President Younes Qanuni and veteran politician Abdul Rab al-Rasoul Sayyaf to continue their efforts to resolve the current situation while urging President Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah to respond positively to the mediators' efforts.
In this conversation, Ambassador Kay assured the continuation of NATO's cooperation with the Afghan security forces and stressed that the Alliance is committed to helping the Afghan security forces as well as the peace process in Afghanistan. He stressed that the Taliban would not win on the battlefield, and that the only way to achieve peace is through dialogue.
NATO's civilian envoy said the number of troops will be adjusted to 12,000 after departure of some 4,000 in line with the peace talks. According to him, NATO's decision in this regard is conditional, and such decisions are based on the status quo and the progress of peace talks.
He added that the Taliban must live up to its commitments and the intra-Afghan talks should begin. He said after the peace deal, NATO will continue its cooperation with Afghanistan. According to him, NATO has invested in the Afghan peace process and wants to see the progress of this process.
About the novel coronavirus, he said everyone need to listen to safety instructions and not to forget staying home, keeping a social distance and washing hands regularly with soap and water.
Ambassador Kay said the Taliban now needed to put an end to attacks and killings of people and security forces so that the Afghan people could fight the coronavirus more safely. He noted that the Afghan people are passionate about peace and progress, and that now is the best time to bring peace to Afghanistan.
This comes as the first batch of Taliban have been released from Bagram prison Wednesday evening and another 100 are expected to be released by Thursday.
Two days earlier, the Taliban called back a three-member technical delegation from Kabul due to alleged delays in the release of prisoners.