KABUL, Afghanistan, September 28, 2017 – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Afghanistan along with U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis. While here they met with high level Afghan officials and Resolute Support troops across Afghanistan.
Stoltenberg and Mattis pledged continued support for Afghanistan and vowed to not allow the country to once again become a safe haven for international terrorists. During a visit with President Ghani in Kabul, the two secretaries reaffirmed their partnership and pledge to an Afghan led-reconciliation effort to bring the conflict to an end.
Speaking directly to the Taliban, Stoltenberg said the group cannot win on the battlefield and encouraged them to come to the negotiating table. “NATO doesn’t quit when the going gets tough. We keep our promises. That is why I very much welcome that many nations have pledged further contributions,” he said. Secretary Mattis reinforced Secretary General Stoltenberg’s comments, “the sooner the Taliban recognizes they cannot win with bombs, the sooner the killing will end. The only path to peace and political legitimacy for them is through a negotiated settlement,” said Mattis.
"This was a very important and successful visit," said General John Nicholson, Resolute Support Commander. “The Secretary General and Secretary Mattis reaffirmed our commitment to our Afghan partners and thanked our soldiers for their sacrifice and service to make all our homelands safer from the scourge of terrorism."