NATO Senior Civilian Representative for Afghanistan, Nicolas Kay said on Wednesday that the international forces will remain in Afghanistan even after a peace agreement in order to support the national defence and security forces.
Kay said while addressing the Model United Nations meeting in Kabul that NATO will also help the Afghan government and the country’s election management body in holding the presidential election scheduled for September 28, TOLO News reported.
Kay further said that there is a need for NATO military presence in Afghanistan until all threats are eliminated from the country.
“Let me assure you very very clearly, NATO is not leaving, NATO is committed to staying and supporting Afghan national defence and security forces,” the envoy added.
While Washington’s peace efforts with the Taliban have raised scepticisms on whether the Afghan presidential election will be held in the specific timeline, the NATO envoy said the alliance will fully support Afghans to conduct the polls.
“Let me be clear on the NATO position, our NATO task is to support the security for the elections, and we are supporting Afghan national security and defense forces prepare for elections on the 28 of September,” he said.
Kay’s comments come on the same day the Taliban said they were close to reach an agreement with the US as the two sides continued their negotiations in Qatar on peace in Afghanistan.
Earlier this week, the US and Taliban negotiators had made progress on establishing safe zones once the American forces started leaving Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani assured that peace would finally prevail in the war-torn country and that the nation should not have any concern about the ongoing talks between the US and the Taliban in Doha.
US officials and leaders of Afghan Taliban are currently holding the ninth round of peace talks in the Qatari capital.