Germany warns against 'rash actions' over troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

WION Web Team
Berlin Published: Dec 01, 2020, 05:05 PM(IST)

File photo of US troops in Afghanistan. Photograph:( AFP )

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Britain's ally the United Kingdom had said that it will follow the United States in reducing troop levels in Afghanistan.

As the Trump administration prepares US troops to pull out of Afghanistan, German foreign minister Heiko Maas said today that premature withdrawal should not take place as it could jeopardise the peace negotiations.

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The German minister's comments come as Taliban and Afghan government officials get ready for the next round of peace talks.

The United States has agreed to withdraw all foreign forces in the country in exchange for security guarantees and for the Taliban's pledge to hold talks with the Ghani government.

"As NATO partners, we want to ensure that we tie further troop reductions in Afghanistan to clear conditions," the German foreign minister said, adding,"to safeguard what we have reached so far, we must not take any rash actions."

"This is why we call on the alliance to have a very close look at how far the conditions for a further withdrawal have been met to avoid sending a wrong message regarding the peace process," Maas added.

Germany had earlier sought "more clarity" on the US plan to pull out of the country.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had earlier met the two sides in Doha calling for "expedited discussions" after talks got underway in September but soon broke down over difference between the Taliban and the government as the violence began to escalate in the region.

Britain's ally the United Kingdom had said that it will follow the United States in reducing troop levels in Afghanistan. "I expect if they (the US) are reducing at some stage, we will come down," defence secretary Ben Wallace had said.

The Pentagon had said earlier that it pull out nearly 2,000 troops from Afghanistan and would ensure the full withdrawal of all troops in mid-2021.

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