Speaking at an event titled “The Role of NATO in the Afghan Peace Process” hosted by the Afghanistan Institute of Strategic Studies (AISS) in Kabul, NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative Nicholas Kay spoke broadly about NATO and its role in Afghanistan and offered his personal thoughts about the current peace negotiation.
Kay said, "My personal belief, and hope, and something I advocate for, is that there should be no complete withdrawal of international forces--of NATO--until there is a complete peace agreement."
He went on to say, speculatively, that a "comprehensive peace agreement would be the product of intra-Afghan negotiations."
On the Taliban, Kay said:
“The Taliban will not win, it is as simple as that. The Taliban will not win on the battlefield because the ANDSF are increasingly strong and capable, and they are increasingly strong and capable because of the training, advice, assistance and funding they get from NATO,” said Kay.
At the same time, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hopes that the Afghan war will end politically.
“We welcome the release of the two professors at the American University in Kabul that have been held in captivity by Taliban for some time. We also commend President Ghani for his bold decision that made this possible. These are confidence-building measures. Hopefully, they can move us closer to the resumption of the peace talks and therefore also lay the grounds for a political, negotiated solution to the conflict, the crisis, in Afghanistan,” said Stoltenberg.
In less than two weeks, NATO leaders are expected to discuss the Afghan peace and stability process in London.