US “home coverage” behind Afghanistan withdrawal: Chancellor
Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that the United States had decided to withdraw from Afghanistan, partly for domestic political reasons, her party’s sources told the AFP news agency.
At a meeting with her CDU-CSU party leadership, Merkel said that the withdrawal of NATO after almost two decades of action “was ultimately hit by the Americans” and that “domestic political reasons” were partly responsible.
“We have always said that if the Americans stay, we’ll stay,” she said, according to participants at the meeting.
“The withdrawal of troops triggered a domino effect,” which culminated in the return of the Taliban to power, Merkel said.
“For the many who have built on progress and freedom – women in particular – these are bitter events,” she said.
Efforts must now focus on evacuating German nationals as well as Afghans who have worked with the Germans or are in danger from the Taliban, she said.
Berlin estimates that 2,500 local employees who worked for German troops or in the embassy, as well as their family members, will have to be evacuated from the country.
Another 2,000 Afghans, such as human rights activists or employees of non-governmental organizations, must also be brought out of the country. The number swells to 10,000 when their family members are included.
In addition to these groups, many others will try to leave Afghanistan, Merkel said.
“We must do everything we can to help neighboring countries support the refugees,” she said, according to the sources.
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