Nato forces to leave together from Afghanistan by September 11

Published April 14, 2021
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attend a news conference at Nato's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 14. — Reuters
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attend a news conference at Nato's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 14. — Reuters

A coalition of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato)-led troops in Afghanistan will leave the country in coordination with a planned US withdrawal by September 11, Washington’s top diplomat said on Wednesday, ahead of a formal announcement of the end of two decades of fighting.

Around 7,000 non-US forces from mainly Nato countries, but also from Australia, New Zealand and Georgia, outnumber the 2,500 US troops in Afghanistan but still rely on US air support, planning and leadership for their training mission.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Brussels that it was time for Nato allies to make good on its mantra that allies went into Afghanistan together and would leave together.

“I am here to work closely with our allies, with the (Nato) secretary-general, on the principle that we have established from the start: In together, adapt together and out together,” Blinken said in a televised statement at Nato headquarters.

“We will work very closely together in the months ahead on a safe, deliberate and coordinated withdrawal of our forces from Afghanistan,” Blinken said, standing alongside Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg,

Nato foreign and defence ministers will discuss their plans later on Wednesday via video conference.

A senior Nato diplomat told Reuters that no ally was expected to oppose US President Joe Biden’s formal announcement, expected later on Wednesday, for a complete US withdrawal of troops by Sept 11.

Opinion

Last call
Updated 23 Sep 2021

Last call

The exchange rate alone can no longer absorb the full impact of the deterioration in the current account.
Appeasing terrorists
Updated 22 Sep 2021

Appeasing terrorists

The policy of appeasement has not worked in the past and it certainly will not work now.

Editorial

Dialogue, at last
Updated 23 Sep 2021

Dialogue, at last

The govt has attempted to make the ECP controversial at a time when its input is critical for the poll reforms
AUKUS controversy
Updated 23 Sep 2021

AUKUS controversy

Instead of flexing its military muscle, the Western bloc needs to engage China at the negotiating table.
Provocative act
Updated 23 Sep 2021

Provocative act

Afghan Taliban flags have been found hoisted at Jamia Hafsa seminary three times since Aug 21.
22 Sep 2021

Interest rate hike

THE State Bank’s decision to raise its key interest rate by 25bps to 7.25pc underpins its acceptance of emerging...
PCB chief’s challenge
Updated 22 Sep 2021

PCB chief’s challenge

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has propelled fears of regional insecurity.
22 Sep 2021

No need for secrecy

THE government should not make a mountain out of the Toshakhana molehill. That would only encourage speculation of...