NATO, appearing US Pentagon chief focus on Afghanistan

Brussels, November 16

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has spoken to the new acting US defence secretary about the alliance’s commitment to stay in Afghanistan as long as necessary, his spokeswoman said Monday, amid speculation that President Donald Trump might order a rapid withdrawal of US troops in the country. NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said Stoltenberg held talks with Christopher Miller on Friday about the 30-nation U.S.-led military alliance’s “agenda, including the situation in Afghanistan,” and that “NATO’s position hasn’t changed” on its security role in the conflict-ravaged country.

“No NATO ally wants to stay any longer than necessary. At the same time, we want to preserve the gains made with such sacrifice, and to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists that can attack the United States or any other NATO ally,” Lungescu said. — AP

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