NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a joint press point with Alexander Dobrindt, chairman of the CSU Parliamentary Group, on Wednesday said that 2021 will be an important year for the alliance in terms of deciding its military presence in Afghanistan.
“2021 also is a pivotal year for NATO because we need to decide on our presence in Afghanistan,” said Stoltenberg.
On the peace process, he said: “We welcome the peace talks that take place between Taliban and the government in Kabul.”
“There are many challenges, and many uncertainties, but of course, the peace talks are the only path to peace, the only way forward to a peaceful negotiated solution,” he said.
He also added: “We support those efforts, but at the same time we know that we will be faced with a very difficult dilemma."
“Next month, NATO's defence ministers will meet, and they need to decide whether to remain, whether to stay in Afghanistan with our military presence, and then risk being engaged in a prolonged military presence in Afghanistan, or whether to leave, but then risk that Afghanistan once again becomes a safe haven for international terrorists,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
"The more important thing is that we need to make sure that Afghanistan doesn't once again become a safe haven for international terrorists," he said.
“We have to understand that the reason why we went in to Afghanistan back in almost 20 years ago was the attack on a NATO ally, the 9/11 against the United States, and Taliban has the committed in the agreement with the United States to make sure that they don't work with, they don't support, they don't help in any way provide any framework support for international terrorists,” Stoltenberg said.