860 Georgian soldiers will start leaving Afghanistan in May as the US and NATO will begin withdrawing their troops from the country after two decades of war.
NATO allies agreed on Wednesday, according to US plans, to start removing troops by May 1.
The pull-out is to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the US by jihadist organization al-Qaida.
The US invaded Afghanistan just after the deadly attack.
It is time to end America's longest war,” US President Joe Biden stated, adding that the US will support Afghanistan following the withdrawal, but not with military means or resources.
#NATO Allies have decided to start withdrawing @ResoluteSupport forces in #Afghanistan by 1 May, in an orderly, coordinated & deliberate way. We will continue to stand with Afghanistan, this marks a new chapter in our relationship.— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) April 14, 2021
Ministerial statement: https://t.co/1c9Y89zJZX pic.twitter.com/L4yIAXMgto
There are currently about 10,000 soldiers still left in Afghanistan for NATO Resolute Support mission (2,500 American soldiers among them), including Georgian soldiers.
If the Taliban decides to attack any NATO troops during the withdrawal process, they ‘will be met with a forceful response,’ the alliance has said.
The US and the Taliban signed an ‘agreement to bring peace’ to Afghanistan back in February 2020.
The US and NATO allies agreed then to withdraw all troops within 14 months if the militants upheld the deal.
Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili has stated that the country has been the biggest, non-member contributor to NATO peace missions in Afghanistan since 2004.
Following @NATO's decision allied forces will be leaving ????????. ???????? troops have served for the sake of global security & the peaceful future of the Afghan ppl along w/ our allies & partners for almost two decades. We welcome our militaries back home & praying for the fallen soldiers.— Irakli Garibashvili (@GharibashviliGe) April 14, 2021
Garibashvili said that the withdrawal of Georgian troops will take place in coordination with NATO and the US.
The Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan was launched in 2015 and involved more than 16,000 personnel from nearly 40 NATO member and partner countries.
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has tweeted:
For 17 years, Georgian troops have stood side by side with our American and @NATO partners in Afghanistan. Together, we worked to bring peace to the Afghan people, order in a complex region, and security across the globe.— Salome Zourabichvili (@Zourabichvili_S) April 14, 2021
The mission was launched after the stand down of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission.
ISAF, which was launched in 2001, aimed to enable the Afghan government to exercise its authority throughout the country, while the RSM mission served to train, advise and assist Afghan defence and security forces and support them through funding.
Thirty-two Georgian soldiers have been killed and dozens injured since the beg NATO-led peace missions in Afghanistan.