The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Afghanistan on Tuesday to meet with the Afghan leaders, Afghan and coalition officials, and coalition forces.
“The NATO Secretary General, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, is currently visiting the lslamic Republic of Afghanistan, accompanied by the Chairman of the Military Committee, Air Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti,” NATO said in a statement.
The statement further added that “during his visit, the Secretary General will meet with President Ashraf Ghani; Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and other Afghan ministers and senior officials, as well as with representatives of Afghan civil society.”
Last month, Stoltenberg told reporters 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.