NATO chief stoutly supports Kabul-HIA peace deal
KABUL (Pajhwok): The NATO secretary-general has welcomed a draft peace agreement before the administration of President Ashraf Ghani and the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA).
Jens Stoltenberg hailed the deal at a news conference in Brussels, where he was asked if courting Gulbadin Hekmatyar, who is on the US blacklist, was not a setback for democracy and human rights in Afghanistan.
He insisted there was no contradiction between a continued NATO military assistance to the Afghan security forces and support for a negotiated solution to the ongoing conflict.
“Actually, I believe that pre-condition and an important foundation for any negotiated political solution is that we have a strong Afghan army and security forces,” the secretary-general remarked.
The alliance would continue to support the Afghans building their defence capacities by providing them training and advice as part of the new mission, he said, backing a politicalsolution and continued peace efforts by the unity government.
He believed it was important for the global fraternity to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process because there was no other solution other than a political settlement in the long run.
“The Afghan government has made very clear that they are open to negotiate with those who renounce violence, cut links to terrorist organisations and respect the constitution, including human rights, and respect for women and children rights.
“So I think this just underlined that we have both continue to support the Afghan armed forces and at the same time continue to support their efforts to find political negotiated solution,” he concluded.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.