KABUL: German defense minister has said that her country will follow the United States’ preparations for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and expected a NATO announcement on the matter after the alliance’s special session later on Wednesday.
According to senior officials in Washington, US President Joe Biden will declare a complete US withdrawal from Afghanistan by September 11th, which will bring America’s longest war to an end.
On Wednesday, NATO security and defense ministers will have a video briefing with US defense and foreign ministers at the military alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, headed by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
“We have always said we are going in together, and we are going out together,” Kramp-Karrenbauer, German defense minister told German public TV ARD.
“I stand for an orderly withdrawal, and I expect us to decide this today (at NATO),” she added
This will also imply that Germany, as a member of NATO, would coordinate its withdrawal preparations with those of the US, Karrenbauer said.
After the United States, Germany has the second-largest contingent in Afghanistan, with about 1,100 soldiers.
This is while earlier German lawmakers approved a mandate that allows the German military to retain up to 1,300 troops in Afghanistan as part of a NATO mission until January 2022.
Britain also announced on Wednesday that it would follow Biden’s withdrawal plan and exit all its forces by the mentioned date.
The Times, a British newspaper reported that the decision was made hours after Biden’s announcement of a full troop exit from Afghanistan by September 20.
About 750 British soldiers are stationed in Afghanistan and sources said that they would struggle without American support because of a reliance on US bases and infrastructure.