KABUL (Pajhwok): A decision on troop withdrawal from Afghanistan would be taken in consultation with NATO allies, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised on Tuesday.
The Biden administration was still reviewing the May 1 deadline for the troop withdrawal, the secretary said, explaining that no decision be made without NATO’s input.
“I am here to listen and consult,” Blinken told a joint news briefing with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels.
Blinken’s remarks come ahead of a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers, who will review the situation in Afghanistan.
The visiting US dignitary said: “We went in together, we adjusted together and when the time is right, we will leave together.”
He added: “As we consult on the way forward (in Afghanistan), we shall do so as an alliance.”
For his part, the NATO chief said that although intra-Afghan negotiations remained fragile, they represented the only way to bring durable peace and stability to Afghanistan.
Stoltenberg urged all parties to negotiate in good faith to achieve the goal of peace. All actors in the region should be taken on board, he proposed.
Blinken is in Brussels to attend the meeting of NATO foreign ministers and hold talks with EU chiefs in a bid to mend relations.
Blinken will assure his interlocutors about US efforts to strengthen the transatlantic partnership. He will also deliver a foreign policy speech on his commitment to rebuilding alliances.