Afghan president says country ready for coalition forces’ pull out

April 19, 2021 | Updated 8:29 am

Afghan president says country ready for coalition forces’ pull out U.S. soldiers inspect the site of suicide car bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 17, 2015. (Xinhua)

Kabul: Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Sunday said that Afghanistan has long been ready for the US and NATO-led coalition forces’ withdrawal, the office of the president said in a statement.

Ghani made the remarks during a security personnel medal-awarding ceremony held here, according to the statement.

US President Joe Biden has announced that Washington would end its longest war by starting to pull out troops from Afghanistan on May 1 and would complete the process by Sept. 11 this year.

The Afghan president said Afghan government forces were fully prepared to protect the country.

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks, with other NATO members also deploying military forces to the country, in a bid “to confront al-Qaeda and those who attacked the United States, and to prevent terrorists from using Afghanistan as a safe haven to attack us,” according to a statement after a virtual NATO foreign and defence ministers’ meeting on Wednesday.

In light of this and recognising that there is no military solution to the challenges Afghanistan faces, NATO allies have determined to start the military withdrawal by May 1 and will finish it within a few months, the statement said, adding that this drawdown will be “orderly, coordinated, and deliberate.”

There are currently about 10,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan.