NATO position ‘unchanged’ despite drawdown of US troops

Following Washington’s announcement that American troop levels were down to 2,500 in Afghanistan, NATO stated on Saturday its position in the country has not changed.

In a statement, NATO noted: “The US had already stated that they would reduce their presence in Afghanistan to 2,500 troops. They also made clear that they would continue to provide their enablers to our Resolute Support Mission. NATO’s position has not changed. We are carrying out our Train/Advise/Assist mission in its current configuration, with a Headquarters in Kabul and four regional commands.

“We are helping the Afghan security forces in their efforts towards lasting peace, and ensuring that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for international terrorism,” the statement read.

The organization stated it continues to support the Afghan peace process, and as part of the peace process, NATO stands ready to further adjust its presence, in line with its conditions-based approach.

“In the months ahead, we will continue to assess our presence based on conditions on the ground.

“NATO Defence Ministers will discuss our presence in Afghanistan at their meeting in February. Whatever path we choose, it is important that we do so together, in a coordinated and deliberate way,” read the statement.