Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
April 26, 2018
NATO has said it could provide additional security during Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections, amid increasing attacks in the country ahead of the October polls.
“Our main contribution to make sure that the elections can be held in a safe and secure way is to continue to provide support to the Afghan security forces with training, with advice and also with funding,” alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels on April 26, on the eve of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.
But Stoltenberg said NATO’s involvement would be limited.
“Having said that, I also envisage a limited role for NATO forces to help to make sure that elections can be held in a safe way,” he said.
Stoltenberg was speaking after 60 people were killed in a suicide attack on a Kabul voter registration center on April 22, and just one day after the Taliban announced their annual spring offensive.
NATO’s mission handed over responsiblity for security in Afghanistan to local forces at the end of 2014.
The alliance still maintains a 13,000-strong training and support mission in the country, and it is also in the process of expanding its Resolute Support mission by 3,000 troops.
“The Taliban have to understand they can never win at the battlefield,” Stoltenberg said.
“We will continue to train, to advise and to support Afghan national security forces and that will provide the framework, the conditions for the Taliban at some stage to sit down and negotiate for a peaceful solution.”
With reporting by AFP
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