Kabul: After US President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that the US will end the “forever war” in Afghanistan by withdrawing all its troops by September 11 this year, Australia, too, said that it will pull out its last remaining 80 troops out of Afghanistan by September..
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was visibly emotional when he announced the news at a media conference in Perth and read out the names of the 41 soldiers who had lost their lives in the war-ravaged middle-eastern nation.
“This day, we dedicate to their memories. We think of their families, their friends, the life they would have lived. But they gave that for others they did not know,” he said. Asked if the war was worth it, Morrison said: “Freedom is always worth it”.
Australia joined the war in Afghanistan in November 2001 after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York.
At the peak of the war, Australia had 1,500 troops in Afghanistan and in total 39,000 Australian Defence Force personnel have been deployed on Operations SLIPPER and HIGHROAD.
“Australia continues to support the peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban,” he added.
The announcement comes even as a conference is scheduled on the Afghanistan peace roadmap starting on April 24 in Istanbul that would include the United Nations and Qatar. The Afghan government is ready with a unified plan, however, the Taliban has rejected coming to the negotiating table till all foreign troops have not been withdrawn from the country.
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