A US soldier retains watch at an Afghan National Army base in Logar province, Afghanistan (Reuters)
BRUSSELS: NATO secretary basic Jens Stoltenberg stated Monday the alliance will not withdraw its troops from Afghanistan “before the time is right”, forward of a dialogue by defence ministers on the deployment.
The ministers of the 30 NATO member states will on Wednesday and Thursday maintain their highest-stage talks since US President Joe Biden took workplace vowing to work nearer with allies after 4 years of tensions beneath Donald Trump.
Top of the agenda for the digital convention will be the destiny of the alliance’s 9,600-robust assist mission in Afghanistan after Trump struck a cope with the Taliban to withdraw troops.
The deployment’s future hinges on whether or not Biden agrees to stay to a May deadline to tug out international forces or dangers a bloody backlash from the Islamist insurgents by staying put.
“While no ally wants to stay in Afghanistan longer than necessary, we will not leave before the time is right,” Stoltenberg instructed a media convention.
“Ministers will continue to assess the situation on the ground and monitor developments very closely.”
Biden’s administration says it is reviewing the deal, and the Pentagon has accused the Taliban of not fulfilling guarantees that embrace lowering assaults and reducing ties to rebel teams like Al-Qaeda.
Defence ministers are not anticipated to make a concrete announcement on the deployment’s future at their assembly.
NATO allies need the US to seek the advice of extra intently with them after feeling sidelined when Trump minimize US troop numbers to 2,5000 in January, their lowest determine because the begin of the struggle in 2001.
Taliban violence has surged in latest months amid stuttering peace talks with the Kabul authorities. The group has warned NATO ministers not to hunt a “continuation of occupation and war”.
“The Taliban must reduce violence, negotiate in good faith and live up to their commitment to stop cooperating with national terrorist groups,” Stoltenberg stated.
“Our common goal is clear. Afghanistan should never again serve as a haven for terrorists to attack our homelands.”
A examine mandated by the US Congress has known as for a delay within the pullout, warning it will successfully hand the Taliban a victory.