NATO chief calls for negotiated settlement with Taliban

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Afghan special forces arrive at the airport as they launch a counteroffensive to retake the city from Taliban insurgents, in Kunduz on Septmber 29, 2015. The Afghan army on September 29 launched a counter-offensive to retake Kunduz from the Taliban, a day after insurgents overran the strategic northern city. AFP PHOTO / Nasir Waqif
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  • Jens Stoltenberg said the situation in the country is deeply challenging amid UN’s warning that more civilians could die

  • Most of NATO’s 10,000-strong force have already left after US President Joe Biden decided to bring Washington’s troops home

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday reiterated calls for a “negotiated settlement” with the Taliban in Afghanistan, admitting the country faced a “deeply challenging” security situation as foreign troops leave.
“The security situation in Afghanistan remains deeply challenging and requires a negotiated settlement. NATO will continue to support Afghanistan, including with funding; civilian presence; and out-of-country training,” Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter after speaking to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Since early May, violence has surged as the Taliban launched a sweeping assault just days after US-led NATO forces began a withdrawal which is now almost complete.
The advance has seen the insurgents capture scores of districts, border crossings and encircle several provincial capitals.
The fighting continues across the rugged countryside as peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban have so far failed to reach a deal to end the war.
Most of NATO’s 10,000-strong force have already pulled out of the country after a decision by President Joe Biden to bring Washington’s troops home after two decades.
The United Nations warned Monday that Afghanistan could see the highest number of civilian deaths in more than a decade if the Taliban’s offensives across the country are not halted.
The US descended on Afghanistan and its Taliban government in 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks by Al-Qaeda, which had sought sanctuary in the country. (AFP)

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