US SoS Blinken says a coordinated ‘withdrawal will take months’

By Monitoring Desk
Thursday – April 15, 2021
BRUSSELS (Belgium): United States (US) secretary of state (SoS) Antony J. Blinken said, Wednesday, “We will work very closely together, in the weeks and months ahead, on a safe, deliberate and coordinated withdrawal of our forces from Afghanistan. But even as we do that, our commitment to Afghanistan, to its future, will remain.”

According to a press release, the US SoS called on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) secretary general (SG) Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO headquarters.

He recalled, “This is an important moment for our alliance. Almost 20 years ago, after the US was attacked on 9/11, together, we went into Afghanistan to deal with those who attacked us, and to make sure that Afghanistan will not again become a haven for terrorists who might attack any of us.”

US SoS Blinken mentioned, “And together, we have achieved the goals that we set out to achieve. And now, it is time to bring our forces home.”

He added, “I’m here to work closely with our allies, with the NATO SG Stoltenberg, on the principle that we’ve established from the start. In together, adapt together, and out together.”

US SoS Blinken concluded, “This too is a very important year for NATO. The work of the NATO SG, his leadership in setting out a vision for NATO 2030, and a strong agenda to make sure that NATO remains strong, effective, and united going forward, is vitally important and we very much look forward to working on that.”

NATO SG Stoltenberg said, “NATO is the only place where North America and Europe meet every day to address pressing security challenges. And today we will discuss our future presence in Afghanistan.”

He highlighted, “We will also discuss and address Russia’s aggressive actions in and around Ukraine. We are all concerned about the massive military build up. And Russia must end this military build up, stop provocations and de-escalate.”

NATO SG Stoltenberg concluded, “I’m also looking forward to discussing the preparations for the upcoming NATO summit and the forward-looking agenda of NATO-2030.”