NATO asserted Thursday its members would consult and decide “together” on when to leave Afghanistan, according to sources, after the United States President Donald Trump announced to bring its troops home by Christmas.
While it remained unclear whether the announcement was an official heads-up on troops withdrawal, Trump has occasionally been tweeting on the timeline for ending America’s longest war.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg exclaimed the alliance’s longstanding position that it will end its mission in Afghanistan only when “conditions on the ground” permit.
“We decided to go into Afghanistan together, we will make decisions on future adjustments together, and when the time is right, we will leave together,” said Stoltenberg at a news conference after talks with North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, as France 24 quoted.
“We will make decisions based on the conditions on the ground, because we think it is extremely important to continue to be committed to the future of Afghanistan, because it is in our interest to preserve the long term security of Afghanistan,” he added.
Foreign troops withdrawal from Afghanistan is based on an agreement between the US and Taliban, which paved the way for intra-Afghan negotiations to be held, determining a political settlement in Afghanistan.