Germany will “synchronize” the withdrawal of its troops in Afghanistan with that of the United States, according to the German Defense Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, commenting on Washington’s announcement to withdraw its troops in that country gradually.
“We’ve always said it: we go in together and we go out together. I am in favor of an orderly withdrawal and I assume that we will decide so today, “said the minister, referring to the planned consultations between NATO allies on the presence of troops in Afghanistan.
“That would mean that we will synchronize our plans with those of the United States,” Kramp-Karrenbauer added in remarks to German public television ARD about the future of the contingent of about one thousand military personnel that Germany has in the Asian country.
The minister had declared on Tuesday in Berlin, in a meeting with the Secretary of State for Defense of the United States, Lloyd Austin, that Germany would keep its troops in Afghanistan until the end of the international mission in that country.
Austin, for his part, welcomed Germany’s “robust input”, “especially in its leadership role in the framework mission in Afghanistan.”
The German minister’s comment comes after the United States announced that it will start a gradual and unconditional withdrawal of all its troops in Afghanistan, with the aim of ending the longest war in its history in September.
The decision of US President Joe Biden, advanced on Tuesday by an official source and which the president will detail in a speech on Wednesday, raises a new withdrawal schedule and erases the commitment of his predecessor, Donald Trump, to remove the troops from the country before next May 1.
Biden’s plan is to start the withdrawal process “before May 1” and “zero” the troops before the twentieth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, which led the United States to invade Afghanistan, explained a senior US official, who requested anonymity.