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We support Afghan-led peace process: US defense chief

We support Afghan-led peace process: US defense chief

Nov 09, 2017 - 21:17

BRUSSELS (Pajhwok): US defense secretary Jim Mattis said on Thursday that NATO’s multifaceted support to Afghanistan shows the country is important for the alliance and they would support it.

Speaking in Brussels after attending the alliance defense ministerial meeting here, Mattis said the meeting discussed the US new strategy on the South Asia and peace in Afghanistan. He said NATO supported an Afghan-led reconciliation process.

Before Mattis, NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg told reporters the defense ministers agreed to increase the size of the Resolute Support in Afghanistan from the current 13000 and 16,000 troops.

He said the alliance would also exert pressure on Pakistan to deny safe haven to insurgents. He said not all posts sought by NATO’s military commanders have yet been filled, but added Qatar and the United Arab Emirates  had formally expressed interest in joining ‘Resolute Support’.

He said the resolute support mission would be extended until 2020. He also said the Afghan defense minister, Tariq Shah Behrami, had assured reforms in the government.

He said Afghanistan was conveyed the message to fight corruption, bring reforms and hold transparent elections.