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Leaders to talk troop levels in Afghanistan: Stoltenberg

StoltenbergKABUL: NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg has said the upcoming meeting of NATO leaders, including US President Donald Trump, will discuss issues like Afghanistan.

“It will be a very short meeting but it will be an important meeting because it will be the first visit of the new US President to NATO and to meet allies,” Stoltenberg told a joint press conference with Norwegian prime minister in Brussels on Thursday.

The NATO chief said he was certain the meeting later this month would express NATO unity and resolve. “That’s something I welcome in times of more uncertainty, that we need a strong alliance,” he said.

He said two main issues — transatlantic bond, burden-sharing and NATO’s efforts in the global fight against terrorism — would be discussed.

“When it comes to NATO’s role in the fight against terrorism, we will address issues like Afghanistan.”

He said NATO had been in Afghanistan for many years. “We are unwavering in our support for the Afghans,” he vowed.

The NATO chief said they would will continue to provide the Afghans with financial support, train, assist and advice.

“We have to address the future of our Resolute Support Mission, the forces level, and how we can continue to provide support to the Afghans.”

Stoltenberg welcomed Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg to NATO Headquarters on Thursday for talks on the Alliance’s continued adaptation and preparations for the meeting of NATO leaders on May 25.

The secretary general thanked Norway for its important contributions to NATO’s defence and deterrence, as well as efforts to project stability.

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