NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that Afghanistan’s leadership was responsible for the rapid collapse of the Afghan military but noted the alliance should learns lessons on how it conducts military training.
“This failure of Afghan leadership led to the tragedy we are witnessing today,” Stoltenberg said after a NATO meeting to discuss the security effects of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
The speed with which Afghan troops weakened during the Taliban’s offensive “was a surprise,” said Stoltenberg, who also admitted “there are lessons that need to be learned” at NATO.
In its reaction to the Taliban’s victory, Russia, which declared the Taliban a terrorist group in 2003, said it would not immediately recognize the new government.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow was “in no rush to recognize” the Taliban government and called for an “inclusive national dialogue with the involvement of all political … forces in Afghanistan.”
For its part, Turkey is negotiating with the Taliban and all other parties in Afghanistan and has favorable views of Taliban messages that were conveyed since taking control, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday.
“We are keeping up dialogue with all sides, including the Taliban,” Cavusoglu said at a news conference in Jordan. “We view positively the messages that the Taliban has given so far, whether to foreigners, to diplomatic individuals or its own people. We hope to see these in action as well.”
China encouraged the Taliban Tuesday to pursue "moderate and steady" religious policies and to establish an "open and inclusive" political structure involving all parties in the country.
At a televised news conference, China's foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, also criticized the U.S. for its role in the South Asian country.
"In Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, we have seen that wherever the U.S. military went, turmoil, division, and destruction of homes and deaths have been left behind," she said.
At the White House on Monday, U.S. President Joe Biden said televised scenes of Afghan civilians trapped in the embattled country were “gut-wrenching” and acknowledged the Taliban had seized control of the country much more quickly than his administration had expected.
Some information for this report came from Associated Press and Reuters.