Speaking at a meeting of European Union Defense Ministers on Thursday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the drawdown of NATO troops in Afghanistan was underway, but that the end of the Alliance’s mission does not mean the end of NATO’s relationship with Afghanistan.
He said that NATO allies are looking at how they can continue to provide financial and training support to Afghan forces, the Secretary General said.
“We have sent a very clear to Taliban that any attack on NATO troops will be met with a forceful response,” Stoltenberg said. “The drawdown of NATO troops and the end of the Resolute Support mission is not the end to our partnership with Afghanistan; it’s actually opening of a new chapter and we are now looking into how we can continue to provide support.”
He added: “We are looking into ways to provide financial support, help with training and also support international community in Afghanistan.”
Stoltenberg said that NATO strongly supported the peace process and negotiated peaceful solution to the conflict in Afghanistan is the best way to maintain the achievements we have made together over the last decades.
US and NATO troops last month announced to end the withdrawal process by Sept. 11. So far, two bases have been handed over to Afghan forces by international troops since May 1, according to the Defense Ministry.