German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Afghanistan could become a breeding ground for terrorists after NATO withdraws its troops from the nation.
“We have achieved the goal set in 2001, at the beginning of the mission. Since then, there have been no international terrorist attacks from Afghanistan. This was a contribution to the security of our country, a merit of our soldiers. But we must not turn a blind eye to the fact that after the withdrawal of the allied troops, Afghanistan can become a hotbed of the international terrorism threat again, we should prevent this”, the chancellor said.
In a speech to parliament, the German head of government highlighted the importance of safeguarding what has been achieved by the NATO allies in Afghanistan over the past twenty years. Talks with the Taliban must continue to safeguard these achievements, Merkel said.
Evacuations to Continue
Earlier this week, western leaders warned that they wouldn’t be able to evacuate their troops, citizens, and Afghan allies from the Central Asian nation by 31 August. Merkel said that Berlin would continue airlifting people out of Afghanistan despite the approaching deadline. We will do it for as long as justifiable, Merkel said, adding that efforts to support local staff should not end after the said deadline. At the same time, she stressed the importance of US assistance in evacuations.
The German chancellor said that Berlin’s future decisions on Afghanistan will be coordinated with its international partners.
“Consultations have already started in the EU, NATO. and the G7, I also talked about this with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, this dialogue should be continued”, she said.