NATO will not leave Afghanistan before right time comes, says Jens Stoltenberg.
NATO secretary-general proposed on Monday to increase the military alliance’s funding for deterrence and defense activities.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the NATO defense ministers’ meeting, Jens Stoltenberg revealed his suggestions for NATO’s 2030 Strategy.
“Spending more together would demonstrate the strength and commitment to Article 5, our promise to defend each other. It would also contribute to fairer burden-sharing,” Stoltenberg explained his proposal to increase NATO’s funding.
The raise would support deployments in battle groups in the eastern NATO countries, as well as air policing and maritime missions and exercises.
“We also need to take a more global approach to deal with global challenges, since China and Russia are at the forefront of an authoritarian pushback against a rule-based order,” Stoltenberg pointed out.
The secretary-general also proposed that the military alliance address climate change challenges and improve member states’ resilience to modern challenges, ranging from cyber threats to pandemics.
NATO defense ministers will hold a videoconference on Wednesday and Thursday.
The ministers will start the preparations for the NATO leaders’ summit to be organized later this year and discuss the military alliance’s strategy for the upcoming decade.
Asked about the NATO troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, Stoltenberg said: “We will not leave before the time is right.”
“We should not end up in a situation when Afghanistan becomes a safe haven for international terrorists, which was the reason why we went there,” he added.
NATO has been supporting national security forces in Afghanistan since 2003.
The current non-combat mission is aimed at training, advising, and assisting Afghan security forces and institutions.