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RFE/RL Gandhara

Nato Says Afghanistan Withdrawal Contingent On Reduction Of Violence

February 15, 2021

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called on the Taliban on February 15 to reduce violence in Afghanistan and said any withdrawal of allied troops would be based on the situation on the ground.

"Our common goal is clear: Afghanistan should never again serve as a haven for terrorists to attack our homelands," Stoltenberg told a news conference. "While no ally wants to stay in Afghanistan longer than necessary, we will not leave before the time is right."

Stoltenberg also said that the Taliban militants must do more to meet the terms of last year's peace agreement with the United States to allow for any possible foreign troop withdrawal by May.

"We see that there is still a need for the Taliban to do more when it comes to delivering on their commitments...to make sure that they break old ties with international terrorists," he said.

U.S. President Joe Biden's new administration said it is reviewing a U.S.-Taliban agreement signed in February last year to determine if the militant group is meeting its commitments, including reaching a cease-fire and engaging in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government.

Under the agreement, all foreign forces are to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for security guarantees from the militant group, including severing ties with Al-Qaeda terrorist group.

Despite the launch of peace talks between Afghan and Taliban negotiators in Qatar in September, violence in Afghanistan has soared.

Based on reporting by Reuters and A

Source: https://gandhara.rferl.org/a/nato -withdrawal-reduction-of-violence- afghanistan/31104301.html

Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.



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