Brussels, 13 years old (Europe Press)
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called a videoconference of the alliance’s defense and foreign ministers to discuss the future of the mission in Afghanistan with the United States.
NATO will meet with its Atlantic Council after the Stoltenberg meeting with the US Secretary of State and Defense, Anthony Blinken and Lloyd Austin, respectively, both in Europe, with the aim of coordinating the next steps in Afghanistan.
Austin is on a tour of Europe whose main stop is NATO headquarters, while Blinken announced a quick trip Monday to share with fellow cabinet members.
The visit will take place a few weeks after the deadline on May 1, which represents the departure of foreign forces from Afghanistan, which is the date stipulated in the Doha Agreement signed by Washington and the Taliban.
The United States, struggling to meet the deadline, is assessing the evolution of the peace process between Kabul and the Taliban and the situation on the ground before ordering a withdrawal. Meanwhile, NATO allies, who wanted to make a decision already in February, put the matter on hold pending the steps taken by the new US administration.
Blinken visited Brussels recently, where he participated in a NATO ministerial meeting, and he will seize the new opportunity to “reaffirm the commitment” of the United States to an alliance that has been sparked by all manner of criticism during Donald Trump’s tenure in the House of Representatives. white. A few weeks ago, the Secretary of State had already suggested that Washington take into account Allied opinion in its decision to continue in Afghanistan.
The military organization defends the usefulness of its training mission for the Afghan forces, and despite the modifications in its presence, it currently has 9,600 soldiers in the country, including 2,500 Americans, after the strong US withdrawal in recent years.