by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the North Atlantic Council meeting at the level of Defence Ministers
So good afternoon to all our colleagues in Europe, and again good morning to our colleagues in North America.
Welcome to this second day of the NATO Defence Ministerial meeting today, we will focus on NATO missions and operations, in particular our Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan our training mission in Iraq.
And we will also mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
On Afghanistan, NATO supports the U.S – Taliban deal and the Afghan Peace Negotiations. There is a historic opportunity for peace.
And as part of the peace process, NATO has adjusted its military presence in Afghanistan. And our presence is conditions based. Any future adjustments must depend on progress in the peace talks and the conditions on the ground.
The Taliban must reduce the unacceptable levels of violence, to pace the way to a ceasefire. They must break all ties with Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, so that Afghanistan never again serves as a platform for terrorist attacks on our countries.
And it is important to preserve the gains made over the last two decades with so much sacrifice. Not least for women and girls, so that peace benefits every Afghan and is sustainable in the long-term.