President: Afghanistan conflict to end in political solution

President: Afghanistan conflict to end in political solution

President: Afghanistan conflict to end in political solution Izvor: Ilustracija, N1

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic arrived for an official visit to Afghanistan on Friday, and told reporters that she expected a political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, provided that Taliban attitudes are modernised first.

The President arrived for a several-day visit to Afghanistan on Friday, her third visit to the country since taking office.

Upon arriving, she met with the commander of NATO's Resolute Support mission, John W. Nicholson. After the meeting, Grabar-said that she had come to Afghanistan again to visit Croatian soldiers there, as well as to be informed of the situation in that country.

About 100 Croatian troops currently have non-combat roles within NATO's train, advise, and assist mission in Afghanistan.

Croatia joined NATO in 2009, and took part in its missions in Afghanistan since 2003. At present, some 16,000 troops from 39 countries are deployed in the international mission in that Asian country.

According to Grabar-Kitarovic, international forces are engaged in Afghanistan in an effort to prevent terrorist attacks from spilling over to other countries, and also to control migrant flows.

"In the event of the fall of the incumbent government in Afghanistan, we could expect millions and millions of refugees who would head toward Europe and the European Union. I am among heads of state who advocate that the migrant problem should be resolved by addressing its root causes, including conflict, poverty, corruption, inequality, and lack of education," she said.

Even though security forces are still needed to preserve the stability and security in that country, Grabar-Kitarovic said she believed that it is encouraging that Taliban forces have become more flexible in negotiations.

"Every war ends with a political solution. The Talibans have to first make several compromises if they wish to participate in the government at the local and regional level, including the modernisation of their stances," she said.

Taliban forces still control 34 percent of Afghan territory.

"That (Taliban still hold a third of the country) is, and isn't relevant. What is important is the percentage of the population living in that territory. Vast, deserted areas of territory aren't that difficult to control," she said, and added that the election in October would be key to Afghanistan's future.

During her visit to Afghanistan, Grabar-Kitarovic's will meet with Croatian troops stationed in Kabul and in Mazar-i-Sharif. She will also meet with her Afghan counterpart, Ashraf Ghani.

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