Admiring Afghan forces’ courage and bravery, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday said the Afghan forces had improved, preventing the Taliban from reaching strategic goals.

Stoltenberg told a press conference in Brussels ahead of defence ministers’ meeting that: “Taliban should understand that they can gain more through a political settlement with the Afghan government than fighting against them in the battlefield.”

He said NATO was expecting the Afghan government to do more on fighting corruption, holding elections and implementing reforms in return for an increased NATO commitment.

He said NATO allies and partners were stepping up their commitments to Afghanistan — both with forces and funding.

“We are discussing how to extend funding for the Afghan forces beyond 2020,” he said, calling a political solution as the best solution for Afghanistan.

Earlier, a NATO official told Pajhwok Afghan News that the defence ministerial meeting on June 8 would discuss the current situation in Afghanistan and evaluate progress in Resolute Support mission.

The ministers would take stock of the progress made on force generation and exchange views on continued financial support from NATO allies and partners to the Afghan security forces.

According to the official, the meeting will be attended by defence ministers from all NATO allies and operational partners contributing troops to the Resolute Support mission.

Afghanistan’s minister of defence, NATO Senior Civilian Representative Ambassador Zimmermann, Resolute Support Commander Gen. John Nicholson and representatives from the UN and EU will be in attendance.