Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
April 21, 2021
Media reports say Germany is looking at a plan to bring forward the date for withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan to July 4.
The German news agency dpa and France’s AFP quoted a Defense Ministry spokesman on April 21 as saying lawmakers were informed of the plan, and that consultations with NATO are under way.
“The current thinking … is to shorten the withdrawal period. A withdrawal date of July 4 is being considered,” a ministry spokesman told AFP, stressing that the final decision would be made by NATO.
U.S. President Joe Biden last week announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, four months later than the May 1 deadline agreed by the previous U.S. administration with Taliban insurgents.
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer had previously set mid-August as the deadline for her country’s removal of troops from the war-torn country.
Under the Doha accord, all foreign forces were to leave Afghanistan by May 1 in exchange for security guarantees from the militant group such as severing ties with Al-Qaeda and refusing to harbor any foreign terrorists.
The Taliban also pledged to negotiate a cease-fire and a power-sharing deal with Kabul.
Earlier on April 21, Turkey said that an international peace conference on Afghanistan previously scheduled for later this week had been postponed until after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan over issues regarding the preparations.
Reuters, however, quoted three sources as saying that the gathering was postponed over the Taliban’s refusal to participate in the event.
Afghan officials and Taliban representatives have not commented on the matter.
Based on reporting by dpa and AFP