NATO envoys meet on Taliban blitz in Afghanistan
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and 30 national ambassadors were taking part in the meeting in Brussels, according to a NATO official who spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with regulations.
“Allies are constantly consulting on the situation in Afghanistan,” the official said, adding that Stoltenberg was “in regular contact with allies and the Afghan authorities.”
“NATO is monitoring the security situation very closely. We continue to coordinate with the Afghan authorities and the rest of the international community,” the official said.
NATO took charge of international security operations in Afghanistan in 2003 – its first major mission outside Europe and North America – aiming to help stabilize the government, build up local security forces and remove a potential rear-base for militant groups.
The U.S.-led military alliance wound down combat operations in 2014 to focus on training Afghan security forces. The Afghan armed forces, with some 300,000 personnel, outnumber the Taliban by roughly four to one but have been unable to halt the insurgent offensive.
The Taliban have been emboldened by the Biden administration’s decision earlier this year to withdraw U.S. troops and to wind up the NATO training mission in Afghanistan. Most NATO troops have already left, with the remainder due to pull out by Aug. 31.
The NATO official said that the organization continues to have a “diplomatic presence in Kabul. As the security of our personnel is paramount, we will not go into any operational details.”