Commander of US Forces and NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan Gen. John Nicholson has stressed the need for pressure to be maintained on insurgents in order to bring about a politically negotiated solution.
Speaking in Kandahar on Monday, he said: “… as we make an offer, we must also keep up pressure. Pressure, diplomatic pressure, social pressure, military pressure,” he said.
He also stated that the Afghan peace process has the full support of the international community.
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance has doubled its efforts to fight terrorism.
“We have also redoubled our efforts to fight terrorism, including by bolstering our mission in Afghanistan with strong support from Turkey and we are stepping up our support for other partners as well,” he said.
“Turkey also helps to build stability abroad by playing a lead role in Afghanistan with hundreds of troops in our Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan and Turkey also helps with funding for the Afghan national army and security forces,” Stoltenberg added.
Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, HPC, said Taliban has shown optimism towards peace talks in indirect contacts with the council.
“Discussions are ongoing in Taliban’s leadership, in military and non-military levels to soon announce how they want to be ready for peace negotiations with the government of Afghanistan,” HPC spokesman Sayed Ehsan Taheri said.
This comes after the Afghan government announced a peace offer to the Taliban earlier this year in the hope of getting the insurgent group to the peace talks tables. However, the Taliban has not yet responded to this peace offer.