Czech Defence Minister: Czech Republic Ready to Withdraw Troops From Afghanistan Following US

If the United States decides to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, the Czech Republic will follow, Czech Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar said on Saturday.

“If the current negotiations [on Afghan peace with the participation of the United States and the Taliban movement] are successfully completed and this leads to internal political stability in this country, then security should improve. If it comes to reducing the number or complete withdrawal of US troops, we will respond to it adequately. Meaning that if the United States leaves Afghanistan, we will also pull out”, Metnar told the Pravo newspaper.

Some 340 Czech soldiers are based in Afghanistan within the framework of the NATO Resolute Support mission. The mission provides training and assistance to the Afghan security forces. A total of 16,000 soldiers from 39 NATO countries are currently serving in Afghanistan as part of the Resolute Support.

In Late January, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani vowed to try to remove all foreign troops from the country. In addition, an agreement on the possible withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan was reportedly reached during recent talks between the United States and Taliban in Qatar. The radical movement, for its part, pledged to prevent terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda* from using Afghanistan as a base to carry out operations in other countries under the future deal.