Afghanistan's neighbours should not provide sanctuaries to terrorists: NATO chief

ANI | Updated: Sep 29, 2017 06:44 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], September 29 (ANI): NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan should not provide sanctuaries to terrorist organisations.

Stoltenberg, who paid an unannounced visit to Kabul with U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday, in an interview to TOLOnews, said, "I have seen that several allies are concerned about sanctuaries for terrorists in Pakistan and neighbours should not host terrorist organisations; they should not provide sanctuaries."

He said the Taliban would never win on the battlefields and that "the main purpose of NATO's support to Afghan forces and the Afghan Government is to reach a political solution - for instability in Afghanistan."

"The Taliban; they have to understand that they will never win on the battlefield. We are ready to stay for a long whole but they will be able to reach a good political solution around the negotiating table," he added.

The NATO chief said the new U.S. strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia has the support of many allies of the organisation.

"There is broad support among the allies for the new (U.S.) strategy because we have all decided to increase the troop levels; not to go back to combat operations but to do more train, assist and advice for the Afghan security forces," he added.

He said they have started focussing on three areas: "more training of special operation forces, more help to develop the Afghan Air Force and also more help to build schools and education to improve command and control."

The NATO secretary general further termed corruption as a big concern for the achievements of the Afghan security forces and the Kabul government, however, adding that they have seen efforts by the government in this respect. (ANI)

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