“The Taliban is still a real threat to Afghanistan,” says NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
He was speaking to media at the launch of his annual report for 2016.
In response to a question over the challenges in Afghanistan, Stoltenberg said that: “There are many challenges in Afghanistan and there is still violence. The Taliban is still a real threat and we have many different terrorist groups that operate in Afghanistan.”
“I'm aware of the challenges and the difficulties in Afghanistan. Having said that, I would like to underline that we have achieved a lot together. When NATO troops arrived almost 15 years ago, we hardly had a functioning state and there was hardly any, or should I say any real national security force in Afghanistan. -
He says that NATO helped Afghanistan build an Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) consisting of 350,000 troops and police, and they are now able to take the responsibility of the security in their own country.
“NATO is projecting stability in many different ways and is contributing to the fight against terrorism. It's a fight we have been in for over 15 years. We have 13,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan as part of our mission to train Afghan forces. They are from 39 NATO member states and partner countries. They are training Afghan forces to help secure their country and deny safe havens to international terrorists,” he said.
“We have one approach in Afghanistan and we must not forget that Afghanistan is about fighting terrorism. The reason why we went into Afghanistan was a direct response to a terrorist attack on the United States and the main reason we still are in Afghanistan is to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for international terrorists,” he added.
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