Nato has made “no decision” on the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, Nato Spokesperson Oana Lungescu told The National after reports that foreign troops would be staying beyond the deadline set in a US-Taliban deal.
Four senior Nato officials told Reuters “there will be no full withdrawal by allies by April-end” because “conditions have not been met” with the US-Taliban agreement.
The US and the insurgent group agreed that US troops would leave Afghanistan by May if the Taliban cut ties with Al Qaeda and reduced violence.
But up to 10,000 Nato troops remain in Afghanistan, mostly from nations other than the US.
Ms Lungescu dismissed reports of its troops staying beyond May as misleading because a decision had not yet been made.
Ms Lungescu said on Sunday that Nato defence ministers would address Afghanistan at their meeting on February 17-18.
She said Nato’s mission in Afghanistan remained unchanged.
“We continue to support the Afghan security forces in their fight against terrorism and to secure their country,” Ms Lungescu said.
But the 30-member Nato’s presence in the war-torn country is due to Article 5 of the treaty, which evokes the principle of collective defence to support the US from attack.
If the US were to exit, other Nato nations would be likely to withdraw too.
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