Sun, Oct

Afghanistan remains high on NATO agenda: Stoltenberg



Afghanistaninfo-icon remains high on NATOinfo-icon’s agenda despite the challenges posed by the Islamic State in different parts of the worldinfo-icon, the alliance secretary-general said on Monday.

“Afghanistan is high on our agenda. Afghanistan is our biggest military operation ever,” Jens Stoltenberg told reporters during a brief media appearance with President Barack Obama at the White House. The military operation in Afghanistan was a direct response to the 9/11 terrorist attack in the United States, he said, adding European and Canadian soldiers had fought together with American soldiers in Afghanistan for many years.Obama remarked NATO continued to be the lynchpin, the cornerstone of collective defence and US security policy.“We had an excellent conversation about Afghanistan, in which NATO obviously has been an extraordinary partner with the US.”The coalition continued to focus on assisting the government and the Afghan security forces, building up capacity, pushing back the Talibanand helping Afghans provide security for their own country, he said.The president hoped the Afghan government would be able to arrive at some sort of a political settlement that would end decades of conflict and violence in that country. “We are grateful for the sacrifices that NATO countries have made -- their men and womeninfo-icon fought alongside US troops. They have fought together and they have died together,” Obama concluded.