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Afghanistan on top of NATO agenda: Stoltenberg

"Afghanistan is high on our agenda. Afghanistan is our biggest military operation ever," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters

By: PTI | Washington |
April 5, 2016 8:52:24 am
NATO, Afghanistan, Nato afghanistan, US afghanistan, America Afghanistan, An Afghan laborer pushes his handcart in front of street art on a barrier wall of the NDS (National Directorate of Security) in Kabul, Afghanistan. “I want people to define who really are the heroes of my city _ the people who clean the city, for instance,” the 46-year-old artist Kabir Mokamel said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

NATO has said Afghanistan was high on its agenda as the White House termed the military alliance as an effective partner in the war against terrorism in the south Asian country.

“Afghanistan is high on our agenda. Afghanistan is our biggest military operation ever,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters yesterday after his meeting with US President Barack Obama.

“It shows the importance of unity in North America and Europe, because our military operation in Afghanistan is a direct response to the terrorist attack against the United States on 9/11. And European, Canadian soldiers have fought together with the American soldiers in Afghanistan for many, many years,” he said.

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“We had an excellent conversation about Afghanistan, in which NATO obviously has been an extraordinary partner with the United States,” Obama said. “The coalition there continues to focus on assisting the government and the Afghan national security forces, building up capacity, pushing back against the Taliban, and helping Afghans to provide security for their own country and, hopefully, being able to arrive at some sort of political settlement that would end decades of conflict and violence there,” Obama said.

“We are grateful for the sacrifices that NATO countries have made — their men and women fought alongside US troops. They have fought together and they have died together,” Obama said.

The White House said NATO has been an effective partner of the US in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan. “We welcome the valuable contribution that NATO has made to our efforts in Afghanistan. Much of the progress that we have made in Afghanistan would not have been possible without the significant contributions that NATO has made to that effort,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

“It is that effective partnership that allowed the United States to succeed in decimating core Al Qaida, that previously operated with virtual impunity in the Afghanistan and Pakistan region. “And we’ve made enormous progress in helping the Afghan government begin to assume much more control for the security situation in their own country,” he said.

“The United States and our military personnel in Afghanistan are going to continue to focus on their two missions, which are counter terrorism and training Afghan security forces,” Earnest said.

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