AFGHANISTAN. Kabul: The British newspaper ‘The Sun’ reported that US is planning to keep hundreds of foreign troops in Afghanistan to stop the Taliban. The decision is taken to stop Kabul from going in the hands of Taliban after the departure of US and NATO forces.
“Hundreds of foreign troops will stay on in Afghanistan under the US plans to stop the Taliban capturing capital Kabul,” The Sun reported.
Based on Joe Biden’s decision, foreign troops withdrawal will be complete by September 11. But, the fear among foreign diplomats in Kabul is rising in the face of the current violence in the country.
“America wants a Turkish garrison to secure the city’s airport and 600 US marines could be deployed to protect the US embassy.”
“The airport is key. Without it there is no way in and out safely so everyone would leave. If that happens Kabul crumbles.”
Adding to this, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told parliament: “I will explore all options, whether from inside the country or outside it, to continue to support Afghan forces.”
The Taliban group has not made any comment on the issue yet.
Australia to close Kabul embassy on May 28
Earlier this week, the Australian foreign minister said in a statement that it has decided to close its embassy in Kabul due to security reasons. The embassy will be closed on May 28. As per the reports, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials will instead visit Afghanistan from other residential posts in the region.
“Australia expects that this measure will be temporary and that we will resume a permanent presence in Kabul once circumstances permit,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday.
Australia has around 80 troops in Afghanistan who will leave the country by September.
Meanwhile, The country reiterated its efforts to support Afghanistan’s stability and development will continue.
“The departure of the international forces and hence Australian forces from Afghanistan over the next few months brings with it an increasingly uncertain security environment where the Government has been advised that security arrangements could not be provided to support our ongoing diplomatic presence, ” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Taliban reacted to the closure of the Australian embassy in an interview with AFP. The Taliban pledged to provide a “safe environment” for diplomats and aid workers in Afghanistan.
“(We) will not pose any threats to them,” Taliban spox M. Naeem said as quoted by AFP.
US and UK embassies warn their nationals
Last month, the US embassy in Kabul warned their nationals not to travel to Afghanistan. They have also said that the people who are already in Afghanistan must leave the country as soon as possible.
An anonymous official from Kabul told Transcontinental Times that the UK Embassy decided to move its embassy in the vicinity of the US embassy due to vulnerability.
The international community and foreign missions in Afghanistan pledged to support Afghanistan even after their departure. The NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg recently reiterated the alliance’s commitment to Afghanistan in a press conference.
“We also addressed Afghanistan where the drawdown of our troops continues in a coordinated way. At the same time, NATO remains committed to our enduring partnership with Afghanistan. This includes continuous training and financial sustainment of the Afghan forces and supporting all efforts towards sustainable peace,” said NATO Secretary-General Jen Stoltenberg.
“NATO remains committed to our partnership with Afghanistan, ” Stoltenberg said.
“We will continue to help the Afghan people and contribute to the peace efforts, including with continued training and funding of the Afghan security forces,” Stoltenberg said.
On Wednesday, the Taliban reacted to the US’s possible intentions to reside and open military bases in the region to help the Afghan forces with air operations from the neighboring countries. But the Taliban warned nations hosting these bases, saying they will have “future consequences” and they will do their “historical” and “religious” responsibility toward it.
As l France Press Agency quoted US defense minister, Pakistan is said to be providing air bases for the US military bases after Russia rejected providing bases for the US in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.