‘No Final Decisions’ on Afghanistan at NATO Ministers Meeting

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, following the NATO ministerial in Brussels on Tuesday, said that the alliance sees that there is no “easy solution” in Afghanistan.

“We all see that there is no easy solution. There is no risk-free path ahead and we need to prepare for all options,” Stoltenberg said after the meeting.

The NATO chief said that the alliance’s foreign ministers emphasized their full support to all efforts to reinvigorate the peace process.

“Because a negotiated solution is the only way to achieve a sustainable peace, which prevents Afghanistan from again becoming a platform for international terrorism,” said Stoltenberg.

The NATO chief called on Afghan sides to seize the opportunity for peace, “All sides must seize this historic opportunity without further delay and all regional and international actors must play their part to support a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

NATO has around 10,000 troops in Afghanistan. The majority are from non-US Allies and partners.

“Today, we made no final decisions on our force posture, but we are determined to take all necessary measures to keep our troops safe,” he said.

This comes after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier on Tuesday at a press conference in Brussels pledged to “rebuild and revitalize” the NATO military alliance and to share American plans on any possible withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Blinken said a review is underway by the US on Afghanistan and that he is in Brussels to share their initial findings with NATO allies.

Blinken said conversations with allies over the next two days will cover a “broad agenda,” including NATO’s ongoing mission in Afghanistan.

Referring to a question on US plans for Afghanistan, he said: “We have a review underway in the United States. I am here in part to share some of our initial thinking with our NATO allies but maybe even more important, I am here to listen and consult because that is what allies do.”

“We went in together, we have adjusted together and when the time is right, we will leave together. There is a common theme or a common word, and that is ‘together,’” he said.

Meanwhile, sources told TOLOnews that President Ghani, in response to the US-proposed peace plan, said that he seeks a presidential election to be held in September.