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NATO to Keep Troops in Afghanistan beyond May

AT News

KABUL: Sources in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have revealed that the military organization would continue military presence in Afghanistan after May when the United States is expected to withdraw its soldiers under a peace deal Washington signed last year with the Taliban.

The sources who were speaking on condition of anonymity, told the German news agency dpa that Germany and other NATO allies agreed not to make decision on the pullout of 10,000 soldiers from Afghanistan in the defense ministers’ meeting scheduled to be held on Wednesday.

The NATO troops are training and advising Afghan army and police after ending combat mission in December, 2014.

The NATO once again calls on the Taliban to reduce violence in Afghanistan and accelerate efforts for peace, according to the sources.

Although the United States pledged to leave Afghanistan in May, but the new administration in the White House says they would review the deal, accusing the insurgents of not fulfilling commitments in cutting ties with al-Qaeda and reducing violence in Afghanistan.

Taliban negotiators, who agreed for the first time to sit in front of the Afghan delegation to hold talk on peace on September 12, have not attended the meetings for more than one month. The insurgents have also intensified attacks in different areas of Afghanistan.

But Taliban deny allegations posed by the US officials as baseless, saying the group was adherent to commitments.

“Finally, we hope that the agreement be implemented properly and that we do not face problems,” Taliban’s Political Spokesman Mohammad Naeem said.

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