Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has said that NATO members are “extremely interested” in keeping NATO forces in Afghanistan, but that they cannot survive without significant forms of support from the United States.
The Afghan president’s statement comes as the new administration of US President Joe Biden is reviewing the US-backed peace process and the agreement signed with the Taliban in February 2020 and includes a deadline for the complete withdrawal of US forces in May 2021.
Speaking to an online program sponsored by the Aspen Institute, Ghani said that he had spoken to the leaders of Canada, Norway and Germany, and Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of NATO, adding that the alliance was “very interested in continuing” its mission in Afghanistan.
He added, “However, without American support tools, he will not be able to continue his mission,” referring to a military term that includes air and intelligence support and other forms of support provided by the United States.
Ghani also stated that the United States, which now has only 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, and NATO “must take a very firm stand regarding the approach based on the availability of conditions for the withdrawal of their forces.”