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NATO ministers to meet virtually to discuss Afghanistan

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NATO ministers to meet virtually to discuss Afghanistan

November 2002, NATO Summit Meeting in Prague, Czech Republic North Atlantic Council Meeting at the level of Heads of State and Government. North Atlantic Council Meeting with Invitees at the level of Heads of State and Government.

A two-day meeting of North Atlantic Council (NAC) foreign ministers will be held virtually today.

The meeting comes just days after the outgoing Trump administration announced that the US would reduce its military presence in Afghanistan, which currently stands at 4500 US soldiers, by January 15. The justification lies in the agreement that the US signed with the Taliban this February in Doha. Among other things, the accord offers the prospect of a withdrawal of all US and NATO forces by the end of April 2021 in exchange for a Taliban pledge that they would not allow Afghan soil to be used for hostile actions against the US and its allies.

Today’s meeting will be chaired by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who recently announced that a meeting of defence ministers in February 2021 would decide the future of the NATO mission in Afghanistan. Still, today’s meeting is expected to address the view of many NATO partners that the Taliban have not yet fulfilled their commitments. Casualties have grown in recent months while intra-Afghan talks remain stalled. Expect NAC to propose delaying a full withdrawal of all forces.

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