NATO Senior Civilian Representative for Afghanistan Nicolas Kay said that the alliance will remain in Afghanistan to train, assist and advise the Afghan forces in their fight against militants until there is a durable peace in the country.
Addressing a ceremony in Herat, Kay said the international community will not allow Afghanistan to once again become a safe haven for “terrorists”.
“I can assure you also that while the peace process is developing and until there is a durable peace agreement, NATO remains committed to our mission in Afghanistan to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces to ensure that it is never again a safe haven for international terrorists,” said Kay.
He said a peace settlement will only be durable and sustainable if it is built upon the achievements of the last 18 years, including democracy and respect for human rights.
“It is our responsibility to help Afghans amplify their voices and raise their voices to make sure that Afghans demands and Afghans concerns are fully faceted into peace negotiations and in any final peace agreement,” he said.
The NATO envoy added that a reduction in violence could be the best way to engage in purposeful peace talks.
He condemned the Taliban’s spring offensive announcement and asked the group to respond positively to the Afghans’ voice for peace and stop war and violence in the country.
This comes as the sixth round of talks between the US and the Taliban are ongoing in Doha, Qatar, where the two sides reportedly discussed some key issues, including a timeframe for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, assurance that Afghanistan’s territory will not be used as a threat against other nations following a peace agreement, a potential ceasefire, and intra-Afghan talks.
Meanwhile, in Kabul, the Grand Consultative Jirga on Peace continued for the fourth day where Afghans from various regions of the country are exchanging views on the prospects of peace in the country.