September 19, 2021

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NATO allies call on US to extend Afghanistan’s withdrawal beyond August 31

The United States has announced its intention to end the expulsion of distressed people from Afghanistan by August 31, but several NATO allies have called on Washington to extend the move. Expel as many Afghans as possible from the country. The final calendar of flights was discussed via video conference this Friday at an extraordinary meeting of NATO foreign ministers. The meeting also helped gather the availability of NATO countries to hold temporary or permanent air refugees in Afghanistan, as the US-based al-Udeid base in Qatar, where about 8,000 people have been relocated, has already been completed.

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“We are discussing Temporary shelter and various places to stay Afghans leaving Afghanistan, ”NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference after the ministerial meeting. NATO’s top leader has neither confirmed nor denied reports pointing to the possibility of establishing Afghan refugee camps in Poland or Kosovo. But he thanked the allies for their support and assured them that it was not the fate of endangered Afghanistan but rather the problem of getting them to Kabul airport.

“There is a paradox that we have more planes than passengers,” the NATO secretary general lamented. Flights arranged by the United States and By various European countries They were already able to evacuate 18,000 people. But the lack of security in the Afghan capital and the difficulties in getting to the airport slow down the evacuation and could put many at risk if the operation is stopped at the end of the month.

Stoltenberg recalled, “The United States has pointed to the calendar [de la evacuación] Ends August 31st. But during the ministers’ meeting, “many allies have pointed out the need to extend the calendar to evacuate more people,” the secretary general said.

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Without the presence of the United States, the expulsion operation must be stopped, as it has already been done in the presence of the military in the country, and without the logistics and military support of the US military it is impossible to maintain European allies.

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Turkey, in its relationship with the new Taliban regime that controls Afghanistan, has become Lynchpin, taking control of the airport during a withdrawal operation by Western forces. But The collapse of the pro-Western regime last Sunday and the visit of the Taliban to the capital Has caused Such chaos at the airport The United Kingdom and, above all, the United States must control troop facilities and allow the landing and take-off of evacuation planes working for Western and international allies in the country. Their families.

NATO had to evacuate about 800 people, as described by Stoltenberg, and less than 500 of them were at the airport (200 of them Afghans). “But we have to add the many Afghans who have worked for friendly countries like Germany or the United Kingdom, which makes up the largest number,” the NATO leader said.

The Coalition promises to redouble efforts to ensure that people waiting for evacuation can travel to the airport. Stoltenberg acknowledged that many Western governments had “established tactical links with the Taliban” so that people who felt threatened could board Western flights. The Secretary General of the Military Organization noted that the relationship was “different from diplomatic recognition”, depending on the attitude of the new officers in the coming weeks or months.

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