MONITORING (SW) - The NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg has said the Alliance has reduced troop’s size from 16,000 in the NATO Mission – US and non-US – to 12,000 and will consider any further reduction as part of efforts to support the peace process.
He was speaking at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) on Tuesday. He said one of the reasons why NATO needs a global approach is the instability and terrorism beyond our borders. One of the lessons from our experience in Afghanistan, where Germany has a leading role,has been the importance of training local forces so they can better stabilise their own countries.
Responding to a question, he said the Allies will assess the situation on the ground, to what extent Taliban is delivering on their part of the deal. “So this is a condition-based withdrawal, a condition-based adjustment. We went into Afghanistan together. We will make adjustments together. And when the time is right, we will then also leave together. But when that will happen, it’s too early to say”, he said.
The Secretary General added the best way NATO can support the peace process now is to make sure that the Afghan security forces are able to be strong and counter the attacks from the Taliban and make sure that Afghanistan doesn’t become a safe haven for international terrorists once again.