NATO says Afghanistan withdrawal has begun

NATO says Afghanistan withdrawal has begun

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Brussels: Alliance officials said Thursday that NATO has begun to withdraw troops from Afghanistan after NATO President Joe Biden decided to take US troops home.

After Biden called for an end to Washington’s longest war, US-backed coalition members agreed this month to end the mission of 9,600 people in Afghanistan.

Despite fears that the Taliban might regain power in the country, the decision, which delayed the deadline agreed by former US President Donald Trump, was reached several months later.

“NATO Allies decided in mid-April to start the withdrawal of Resolute Support Mission forces by May 1 and this withdrawal has begun. This will be an orderly, coordinated, and deliberate process,” a NATO official told AFP.

The NATO official said the safety of the alliance s troops “will be a top priority every step of the way, and we are taking all necessary measures to keep our personnel from harm”.

“Any Taliban attacks during the withdrawal will be met with a forceful response. We plan to have our withdrawal completed within a few months,” the official said, refusing to give any further details on the timeline.

Biden said that the U.S. withdrawal will be completed on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the launch of the United States on September 11. This is the result of the U.S. military offensive against Afghanistan.

The German Ministry of Defense said it plans to withdraw 1,300 soldiers from the country by early July.

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