NATO officials have said that the foreign troops will remain in Afghanistan beyond the May deadline drawn by the Afghan Taliban with the United States, a move that could aggravate the tensions with Taliban which demand full American withdrawal.
According to the details, four high-ranking NATO officials have confirmed that the foreign troops will stay in Afghanistan beyond the deadline. They said that the “hasty withdrawal” which was prevalent during Donald Trump’s tenure will be addressed. “We could see a more calculated exit strategy”, they said.
The Trump administration had signed a deal with the Afghan Taliban last year calling for the complete withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan in May in return for the Taliban fulfilling security guarantees.
The agreement – which did not involve the Afghan government – was hailed as the end of the two decades of war that cost the United States trillions. Before exiting the Oval Office, he reduced the troops to 2500, the fewest since the pre-9/11 days.
The officials said that plans of what will happen after April are being considered and are likely to be the top issue at the NATO meeting this month. They said that the troop numbers will remain unchanged after the deadline, but the future conduct is not clear.
Addressing the issue, NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said that: “No NATO ally wants to stay in Afghanistan longer than necessary, but we have been clear that our presence remains conditions-based.” No decision has been made yet, she said.