German Minister Warns of Afghanistan’s Rapid Withdrawal
The German Foreign Minister has warned that NATO should not endanger the peace process in Afghanistan by withdrawing troops too quickly.
“As NATO partners, we want to guarantee that further troop reductions in Afghanistan are linked to clear conditions,” emphasized Minister Heiko Maas in the run-up to a digital summit of the alliance. “To safeguard what we have already achieved, we must not act hastily.”
Germany is one of the countries that still have troops stationed in Afghanistan. Previously, the Netherlands also participated in a mission in that Asian country. There, the United States tried to defeat the radical Islamist Taliban for nearly two decades.
US President Donald Trump’s administration eventually struck a deal with those insurgents. That agreement was to pave the way for the gradual withdrawal of foreign troops.
In return, the Taliban pledged to reject terrorism and to negotiate peace with the Afghan government. That consultation is still ongoing. Trump, meanwhile, has lost the election and decided last month to withdraw some 2,000 of the 4,500 US troops in Afghanistan at the last minute.
That withdrawal is due to be completed by mid-January, just before Trump is to hand over power to Democrat Joe Biden.