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NATO exit be based on ground situation: Germany

NATO exit be based on ground situation: Germany

Oct 08, 2015 - 15:54

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Germany’s defence minister said on Thursday NATOinfo-icon troops might need to stay in Afghanistaninfo-icon for a longer period and any decision should be based on the situation on the ground.

"We need to look at whether we need to stay longer," Ursula von der Leyen said as she arrived in Brussels for a meeting of NATO defence ministers.

About the fall and recapture of Kunduz City, the capital of northern Kunduz province, she said: "The developments in Kunduz show that the way that we have walked together with the Afghans ... that we have to walk on."

"I will appeal today that we don't organise the withdrawal from Afghanistan according to a rigid timetable, but that we analyse the situation there and coordinate the withdrawal accordingly step by step," von der Leyen said.

"This means that we put the responsibility into the Afghans’ hands in a way that they are actually capable to keep their country stable."

Defence ministers meeting in Brussels discussed a timetable for the mission significantly beyond 2016, a NATO source said.

Von der Leyen has warned for months about a hasty withdrawal and was uncomfortable with US President Barack Obama's timetable for bringing troops home by the end of next year, leaving 1,000 U.S. soldiers in Kabul.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/ma


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