NATO foreign ministers to hold video talks on Afghanistan

Top diplomats to discuss common approach on recent developments in country

BRUSSELS (AA) – NATO foreign ministers will hold an extraordinary videoconference on Friday to discuss developments in Afghanistan, the military alliance’s secretary-general announced on Wednesday.

Jens Stoltenberg tweeted that he convened an extraordinary meeting of top diplomats to “continue our close coordination and discuss our common approach on Afghanistan.

“We never intended to stay in Afghanistan forever,” Stoltenberg explained on Tuesday at a news conference following the meeting of NATO ambassadors, adding that NATO’s main goal was to ensure that the country would not become again a safe haven for terrorists.

He said NATO had faced a dilemma about ending the military mission in Afghanistan, where they had to choose between the risk of a Taliban takeover or open-ended combat.

Stoltenberg blamed the Afghan leadership for not standing up against the Taliban and leading the country into a tragical military and political collapse, but he also stressed the necessity of an honest assessment of NATO’s two-decade presence in the country.

The war between the Taliban and Afghan forces has intensified as foreign troops announced to withdraw from the country by Sept. 11.

The Taliban made rapid military advances, and took control over the capital on Sunday as the Afghan government forces fled or surrendered. President Ashraf Ghani also left the country.


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