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German Defense Chief Rules Out Return to Afghanistan as Taliban Gain Ground

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Sputnik International

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BERLIN (Sputnik) – German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer ruled out on Monday sending troops back to Afghanistan, even as militants continued to tighten their grip on the country.

She rejected calls to reverse the pullout after the Taliban insurgency (a terrorist group, banned in Russia) seized the capital of the Kunduz province on Sunday, where Germany stationed thousands of troops up until July.

“Reports coming from Kunduz and from all over Afghanistan are bitter and hurt a lot. We have fought there together with the allies, Bundeswehr soldiers have died in Afghanistan,” she tweeted.

​Security in Afghanistan has been deteriorating for years, she said but blamed the recent breakdown on former US President Donald Trump’s “unfortunate” deal with the Taliban, even though it was his successor Joe Biden who promised to withdraw all troops by September 11.

“Now the Taliban are attacking with full force — they would have done it even if we were still in the country. Those who call for a new operation in Afghanistan must answer these questions: what the goal, the strategy and the allies will be,” she wrote further.

The minister said that a new offensive against the Taliban would be “very tough and very long.” She asked whether the parliament, Bundestag, was ready to send soldiers back for what could be a generation-long campaign.

“If not, our withdrawal together with the partners remains the right choice. Bundeswehr has fulfilled all the goals in Afghanistan that were given to it by the German Bundestag,” she said.

​Germany and its allies will continue supporting peace process in Afghanistan, she added. They will engage in “active diplomacy” and provide humanitarian aid, training and contribute to effective state-building initiatives.

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