KABUL: The Taliban insurgent group on Saturday cautioned NATO against pursuing a “continuation of war” in the wake of the international alliance’s possible continuation of mission in Afghanistan.
The Washington-backed allies’ defense ministers will meet next week to discuss whether, as Taliban conflict rages, NATO’s 10,000 troops should withdraw or stay beyond the May deadline.
“Our message to the upcoming NATO ministerial meeting is that the continuation of occupation and war is neither in your interest nor in the interest of your and our people,” the Taliban said in a statement.
“Anyone seeking an extension of wars and occupation will be held liable for it just like the previous two decades.”
Last year, former U.S. President Donald Trump inked an agreement with the Taliban insurgents. The U.S. agreed that foreign forces would depart Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for terms such as breaking relations with al-Qaeda and opening peace negotiations with Kabul’s government.
President Joe Biden’s administration has said it will review the agreement, with the Pentagon accusing the Taliban of not upholding its pledge to violence reduction.
Meanwhile, the Taliban also accused the U.S. of breaking the agreement and insisted that if foreign troops do not withdraw by May, they will continue their “fight and jihad.”