NATO Secretary General speaks about leverage on Taliban

WASHINGTON DC (RIA Novosti): NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg admitted that the alliance now has less leverage on the radical Taliban than before, but they “have not been reduced to zero.”

“We, of course, still have leverage. There are fewer of them than before, but they have not been reduced to zero,” Stoltengberg said, speaking at Georgetown University.

The alliance secretary general also said that he would not like to pin any hopes on the Taliban after the movement’s seizure of power in Afghanistan, but stressed that NATO has certain expectations regarding the future policy of the Taliban.

“Our countries also retain the ability to carry out long-range attacks,” Stoltenberg said.

The United States withdrew its troops from Afghanistan after extensive consultations with other NATO countries, allegations to the contrary are not true, said alliance secretary general Jens Stoltenberg.

During an event at Georgetown University, the NATO Secretary General said that he had read reports that the American side allegedly made a decision to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan without proper consultations with NATO.

“This is absolutely not the case. This decision was made after careful consultations with each of the NATO countries. The allegations that these consultations did not take place do not correspond to reality,” Stoltenberg said.

“We (NATO countries – ed.) Came there together, and we left there together, too,” the alliance secretary general confirmed.

NATO does not seek to isolate China and sees opportunities for engaging with it in the areas of arms control and climate, said Jens Stoltenberg.

“We will continue to engage with China on climate, arms control… We do not want China to be isolated,” he said.

Countries NATO should maintain cooperation with Russia in order to avoid starting a new Cold War and the arms race, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

“I believe we need to maintain engagement with Russia because we do not need a new Cold War or an arms race,” Stoltenberg said. At the same time, he stated that relations between NATO and Russia today are at their lowest point since the Cold War.

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