US SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: WASHINGTON COMMITTED TO A DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION IN AFGHANISTAN


21/02/2021




Selin ATAY-TDO- In a speech to NATO defense ministers, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin assured that his country is committed to diplomatic efforts to end the war in Afghanistan. The US SecDef also noted that American forces stationed in Afghanistan will not withdraw hastily and disorganized, and any decision will be taken in coordination with the allies.

The Pentagon released a statement on the results of a two-day meeting organized by NATO defense ministers. “Ministers have agreed to delay the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. The Pentagon has announced that the administration of US President Joe Biden is conducting a thorough review of the deployment of American forces around the world, especially in Afghanistan,” the statement issued by the US Deparment of Defense said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony John Blinken met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on Wednesday, according to a statement released by the U.S. State Department. Secretary of State assured that the United States would hold forward-looking consultations with its allies.

“We face many dilemmas and there are no easy options. At this stage, we have not made a final decision on the future of our presence in Afghanistan, but with the upcoming withdrawal date, NATO members will continue to provide close consultation and coordination in the coming weeks.” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

“The dose of violence in this country is very high. Violence against the military, security agencies and the public, not against us or our friends in NATO, is very high. The main source of this is the Taliban. I condemn the Taliban's nationwide attacks on Afghan forces and assassinations in certain urban areas. It's clear they're Taliban, and it can't be anyone else.” Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., Commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said.


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