NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon that he hopes to give some indication of troop numbers after Thursday’s defense ministers meeting in Brussels.
He also reaffirmed NATO’s commitment to funding Afghan forces until at least 2020 and said that these troops “had proven themselves capable”.
“The situation in Afghanistan is difficult but Afghan forces have proven capable,” he said.
He went on to say that NATO is looking at training more Afghan special security forces who “have proven extremely professional and shown bravery.”
He stated NATO alliance members would also discuss the future of their mission in Afghanistan at Thursday’s meeting.
Stoltenberg acknowledged that President Ashraf Ghani recently launched a new peace-seeking mechanism – the Kabul Process. But “this should be an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process.”
Stoltenberg also said that NATO “supported the National Unity Government (NUG).”
On the issue of defense spending, he stated this was set to rise by 4.3 percent, excluding the U.S, this year.
He also mentioned that NATO’s Resolute Support mission is in place to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists.
However he did emphasize that there had been no requests nor were their plans for NATO to return to a combat role in Afghanistan.
“We will maintain our presence and will discuss the future of our mission in Afghanistan tomorrow,” he said.