Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Nato alert over Afghanistan pullout

Nato's secretary general says that if Afghan leaders and the White House can't agree on a key security pact, the US-led alliance will pull all of its troops and equipment out of Afghanistan by December.

The statement from Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the start of a Nato defence ministers meeting ratchets up pressure on Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai to strike a deal.

US president Barack Obama threatened to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year if the pact isn't signed.

Without that agreement, Rasmussen says, forces from other Nato countries and partners cannot stay beyond 2014 either. There are roughly 19,000 non-US forces now in Afghanistan.

"Let me stress, this is not our preferred option," Rasmussen said. "But these are the facts."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph