The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Wednesday that NATO supports efforts to find a political and peaceful solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.
He said their efforts involved initiatives that they do “not by participating directly in peace talks, that's not NATO's role, but we support them politically,” Stoltenberg said.
“NATO's Allies provide support, but our most important contribution to the peace process is to send a clear message to the Taliban and to other insurgents that they cannot win in the battlefield so we have to train, assist and advise the Afghan forces in a way that enables them to make it clear to the Taliban that they will not win on the battlefield, they have to sit down at the negotiating table.”
“So that's the main way we help Afghanistan, with capacity building, train, assist and advise,” he said.
Addressing journalists at a press conference he also said that NATO supports the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process but at the same time “I think that direct contacts between the US and Taliban is also valuable and I am absolutely certain that the US does what it can to make sure this is coordinated with Kabul.”
“For us the important thing is that it is an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and I am absolutely sure that the US coordinates their efforts with Kabul and the Afghan government, and I know they have discussed their efforts several times,” he said.
“It is also an issue we discuss when we meet in NATO and we will meet today (Wednesday) so that will provide us with a new opportunity to have US and Afghanistan and all NATO Allies around the table to discuss the peace efforts and the peace process. NATO doesn't have a list where we list different terrorist organisations. For us it is important that we provide support to the Afghan forces, security forces, they have the main responsibility for security in their own country and we help them and then we leave it to them to decide how they make progress or how they reach out to Taliban to try to have a political process with the Taliban,” he added.