Rasmussen-Anders-Fogh1NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Wednesday that total NATO troops pullout from Afghanistan is not a preferred option.

However, Rasmussen warned that there will be no NATO troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 if the bilateral security agreement between Kabul and Washington and NATO status of forces agreement was not signed.

While speaking during a press conference before the opening of the NATO defense ministerial, Rasmussen said NATO military leaders are considering all eventualities.

“We all know the facts. If the Bilateral Security Agreement between the United States and Afghanistan is not signed, there will be no NATO Status of Forces Agreement with Afghanistan. If there is no agreement, there will be no NATO troops in Afghanistan after 2014,” Rasmussen said.

He also added that the complete withdrawal of NATO troops and equipments from Afghanistan is not a preferred option, however he said NATO will be forced to leave the country if there was no legal framework in place.

This comes as US president Barack Obama ordered Pentagon on Tuesday to to make plans for a full pullout of American troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

President Obama told Karzai during a telephone conversation on Tuesday that Washington is moving forward with additional contingency planning while he would prefer Karzai or his successor to sign the so-called bilateral security agreement.

NATO defense ministerial formally started on Wednesday and the Afghan defense minister Bismillah Mohammadi is also expected to attended the summit.

NATO defence ministers together with ISAF and Afghan partners will discuss the progress of the ISAF mission and planning for a mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces after 2014.

Author

  • Ahmad Shah Ghanizada

    Ahmadshah Ghanizada is the deputy editor in chief for The Khaama Press Agency who manages and overlooks the English edition.