US President Donald Trump told his supporters on Wednesday at an election rally in Gastonia, North Carolina that '19 years in Afghanistan is enough.'
Earlier this month he tweeted that all the troops should be home from Afghanistan by Christmas.
“We never had anything like it -- and sacrificing American blood and treasure in endless foreign wars in countries that you’ve never even heard of. And they’re all coming back. You know that, right? I hope nobody objects, “Trump said as quoted by India’s the Hindu.
Last month, Trump said that the US will reduce the number of its troops in Afghanistan to 4,000 in a very short period of time.
“I think 19 years in Afghanistan is enough, wouldn’t you say? We’re like a police force over there. We have the greatest soldiers in the world, but over there we’re like a police force. 19 years is enough,” he said.
On Wednesday, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaking at a pre-ministerial press conference in Brussels said that all NATO members support the US-Taliban agreement and current Doha talks, but the Taliban must live up to its commitments.
“The Taliban must live up to their commitments, significantly reduce the levels of violence, and pave the way for a ceasefire,” Stoltenberg said.
He said NATO's stance is conditions-based and NATO is in Afghanistan to protect its own interests and to prevent the country from becoming a terrorist safe haven.
As part of the peace process, we have adjusted our presence, Stoltenberg said, adding that “Any further adjustments remain conditions-based.”
He also said the Taliban “must break all ties with Al-Qaeda and other international terrorist groups.”
Regarding the Doha talks, he said that they must negotiate in good faith. The talks in Doha offer the best chance for peace in a generation.
“They must preserve the gains made at such high price over the last two decades, including for women and girls. NATO remains committed to Afghanistan’s long-term security,” he said.
Asked about peace talks, Stoltenberg says that the talks are the "best possible chance" for a lasting peace that Afghanistan has seen in a while. He said there will be many "hurdles," and the possibility of "setbacks."
And just this week, NATO Allies and partners renewed their commitment to provide financial support to the Afghan forces through 2024, he mentioned.
NATO has around 12,000 troops in the alliance’s biggest mission, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.