05/22/2012, 00.00
AFGHANISTAN - USA

NATO confirms withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014

Obama promises that the Afghans "will not be alone." The NATO Secretary ensures the alliance is not short of funds. No results on the reopening of the supply routes from Pakistan. Besides France, early withdrawal wanted by Australia, Germany, New Zealand.

Chicago (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The NATO leaders, meeting in Chicago, confirmed the withdrawal of their troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. After that date there will be no combat troops on the ground, but only trainers of the Afghan army and police.

The NATO summit was to find agreement between two views: that of France and other countries, who want to leave Afghanistan by 2012 - due to the economic crisis and the few achievements - and to reassure the country still at war it will not be abandoned.

The final declaration of the meeting underlines that surrender of control to Afghan troops is "irreversible" and that by 2014, 130 thousand NATO troops will be brought home. U.S. President Barack Obama said that Afghanistan "will not be alone."

Il segretario Nato, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, ha dichiarato che i 4 miliardi di dollari annui, necessari per continuare il training dopo il 2014, sono stati quasi trovati e che la Nato non ha problemi di fondi. Rimane tuttora il problema delle vie di rifornimento dal Pakistan, chiuse dal novembre scorso, dopo che un raid aereo Usa ha ucciso alcuni soldati pakistani. Obama ha avuto un incontro a tu per tu con il presidente Asif Ali Zardari, ma nulla è stato concluso.

Rasmussen ha detto comunque che egli non si aspettava un accordo immediato sulle vie di rifornimento, ma attende una soluzione "quanto prima".

NATO secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said that the 4 billion dollars per year, needed to continue training after 2014, were almost found and that NATO does not have funding problems. The problem of supply routes from Pakistan remain, closed since last November, after a U.S. air strike killed some Pakistani soldiers. Obama had a face to face meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari, but nothing was concluded.

Rasmussen said however that he did not expect an immediate agreement on supply routes, but awaits a solution "soon."

The war in Afghanistan, which began immediately after the attack on the Twin Towers in New York, has cost the lives of more than 3 thousand soldiers. To date, several regions are under the Taliban control and terrorist attacks also occur in very controlled areas protected by NATO troops. At present there are 130 thousand troops, mostly U.S. (99 thousand). In addition to France - who wants to bring home its 3500 soldiers - there are also Australia (with 1500 troops), Germany (4500) and New Zealand (150).

AsiaNews sources have often criticized the NATO intervention, focused on the military and too little on improving social conditions in Afghanistan (see: 21/05/2012 NATO and France: for Afghanistan, worry about the people and schools).

 

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