Afghanistan war

The Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization says NATO is in no hurry to leave Afghanistan.

"The US position is clear; they are going to reduce their presence in Afghanistan from roughly 4,500 to around 2,500 troops. No NATO Ally would like to stay in Afghanistan longer than necessary. At the same time, if we leave too early, if we leave too hasty, we may risk to lose all the gains we have made; and that’s a risky project," Jens Stoltenberg said on Sonday at the Halifax International Security Forum.

Iran PressEurope: "What is clear now is that the US is going to reduce, but they are not going to leave. The US will continue to provide support to the other NATO Allies. We have to remember that more than half of the troops in Afghanistan now are non-US – they are European Allies and also partner nations," he said.

"We are in Afghanistan to make sure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for international terrorists, a platform where terrorists can plan, organize, finance, launch terrorist attacks against our countries," Stoltenberg said.

In recent weeks, US President Donald Trump has announced that he will withdraw about half of the 4,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan by the end of his presidency.

Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller also announced that the number of US troops in Afghanistan would be reduced to 2,500 by January 15.

NATO allies are concerned about the withdrawal of US troops. There are fears that the Taliban will regain power or that ISIL militants will expand.

Following an agreement with the Taliban in February, the United States reduced its troop numbers in Afghanistan from about 13,000 to about 4,500.