Peace deal with Taliban needs credible guarantees, says Stoltenberg

Delivering speech at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Plenary Session in London, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary general, said Taliban escalating violence proves the need for firm and credible guarantees for any future peace deal in Afghanistan.

“This demonstrates a lack of commitment to lasting peace,” he further said about the Taliban increasing violence in the country.

“We would welcome the resumption of these peace talks, but then Taliban must show willingness to make real compromises at the negotiating table,” Stoltenberg asserted, adding that NATO remains committed to Afghanistan and to ensure the country never again becomes a safe haven for international terrorists.

After almost 11 months of negotiations, the US-Taliban peace talks which had reached at the threshold of signing agreement was suddenly called off by US President Donald Trump on Saturday, September 07, 2019.

In reaction to Trump’s decision, later the Taliban representatives in Doha again asked US to return to negotiation table and stressed that they believed on a political settlement for Afghanistan war.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconstruction Zalmay Khalilzad reportedly met with the Taliban and Pakistani officials earlier in October for the first time after the talks were called off.

Stoltenberg congratulated the Afghan forces and the Afghan people for the achievements made in the country and their participation in the fourth presidential elections which was held on September 28 despite threats posed by the Taliban.

NATO’s SG reiterated that they will continue to support Afghan security forces to fight international terrorism and create conditions for a lasting peace in the country.