by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the 2020 Afghanistan Donor Conference
Ladies and gentlemen,
NATO has been in Afghanistan for nearly 20 years.
To ensure that the country never again becomes a safe haven for international terrorists that can plan and organise attacks on our own countries.
Today, we see a historic opportunity for peace.
For the first time ever, the Afghan government and the Taliban have come together to discuss the future of their country.
But we also see that these peace talks are fragile.
And the levels of violence across the country are far too high.
To achieve peace, everyone must stick to their commitments.
As part of the peace process, we have already significantly adjusted the NATO presence in Afghanistan.
But the NATO mission will continue to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces.
At the same time, we are committed to help fund them through 2024.
And NATO Allies have already made pledges for next year.
Through training and funding, NATO has helped create the conditions for the country’s progress.
Thanks to the bravery and determination of Afghan men and women,
the courage of our forces and the generosity of many nations and organisations, Afghanistan has come a long way. And Afghans do not want to go back to the past.
So we are at a crucial juncture.
We should not risk losing the gains we have made. And we should not risk Afghanistan becoming once more a platform for international terrorists.
That is why the outcome of today’s donor conference is so important.
As is the continued commitment of Afghans to reforms, reconciliation and peace. To protect the rights of all Afghans, including women and children.
And to achieve a sustainable peace.