Taliban must reduce violence, says NATO chief

The presence of NATO troops in Afghanistan remains conditions-based, the alliance chief says.

The Taliban must honour their commitments to reducing violence Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed,

The Associated Press quoted him as saying on Wednesday NATO forces would exit Afghanistan only when the security conditions allowed.

He reiterated NATO’s position as the May deadline for foreign troop pullout, agreed by the US and the Taliban last year, draws near.

After chairing a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels, he said: “The main issue is that Taliban have to reduce violence.”

Stoltenberg reminded the militant movement of its pledge to negotiate in good faith with the Afghan government and cut ties to global terrorist groups.

Less than 10,000 NATO troops are currently stationed in the war-devastated country, training and advising Afghan security forces.

At the end of day one of the ministerial, the secretary-general tweeted: “Good discussion with defence ministers at our first meeting with the new US administration.

“We must seize this unique opportunity to open a new chapter in the transatlantic relationship & build a substantial, forward-looking agenda for the #NATO Summit.”