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Not leaving Afghanistan, says NATO chief

Not leaving Afghanistan, says NATO chief

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Feb 16, 2020 - 14:40

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): NATOinfo-icon Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance will not leave Afghanistaninfo-icon, but will adjust force level if Talibaninfo-icon demonstrate the will and ability to reduce violence and make real compromises.

Speaking at 56th Munich Security Conference in Germany, Stoltenberg said: “Let’s not forget that together we have made enormous progress.”

He said the Islamic State (IS) no longer controlled any territory in Iraq and Syria and millions of people had been liberated from oppression.

“But the fight is not over. We must ensure that ISIS can never return to threaten people in the region and our citizens at home,” the NATO chief added.

Referring to Afghanistan, the secretary-general said: “Our mission in Afghanistan is also about protecting our values, which came under attack on 9/11.”

He added: “16,000 NATO troops are training the Afghan forces, so that they can fight terrorism and create the conditions for peace. We are not leaving Afghanistan.”

Stoltenberg continued NATO was prepared to adjust force level if the Taliban demonstrated the will and ability to reduce violence and make real compromises.

He believed violence reduction would lead to negotiations among Afghans -- a move that would help ensuring that the country never again became a safe haven for terrorists.

sa/mud

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