Germany, NATO To Match Troop Withdrawal With US: Minister

Kabul: With the US administration announcing its complete troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by 9/11 before the 20th anniversary of the twin towers attack, Germany on Wednesday said that it will match the US plans for withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, as per Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

The Defence Minister added that she expected a NATO decision on the matter after a special session of the alliance scheduled for Wednesday. US President Joe Biden will formally announce a complete US withdrawal from Afghanistan by September 11 on Wednesday, according to senior officials in Washington.

The move will finally bring an end to the 20-year deployment of troops in Afghanistan and America’s longest war.

NATO foreign and defence ministers will discuss the issue at a video meeting on Wednesday afternoon, chaired by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and with US defence and foreign ministers present at the military alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.

“We have always said we are going in together, and we are going out together,” Kramp-Karrenbauer told German public TV ARD.

“I stand for an orderly withdrawal, and I expect us to decide this today (at NATO).”

This would also mean Germany, as part of NATO, would synchronize its withdrawal plans with those of the United States, she said.

With around 1,000 troops, Germany has the second-largest contingent deployed to Afghanistan after the United States.

However, there is growing criticism that a hasty exit from Afghanistan could leave the country in disarray and that a civil war could take place. Troop withdrawal from Afghanistan should be conditions-based, otherwise, it will once again face the bitter experience of the past.
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Hasty withdrawal would worsen the situation and lead to civil war, said Afghan parliament speaker Mir Rahman Rahmani.

However, the US, UN and Qatar are planning a peace summit in Istanbul with the Afghan government and the Taliban to chalk out a future roadmap for the country. Taliban has refused to participate in any peace talks till the troops have been withdrawn, while the Afghan government is ready with a unified peace plan for the April 26 summit.

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