Boris Johnson leaving Downing Street 160920 CREDIT PA

Afghanistan: Johnson Addresses Post-Withdrawal Security With Country's President

NATO started to withdraw from Afghanistan on 1 May, two decades since British forces entered the country.

Boris Johnson leaving Downing Street 160920 CREDIT PA

Boris Johnson has spoken to the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, outlining the UK's commitment to the country's security once NATO troops have withdrawn.

Downing Street said the leaders agreed to continue joint counterterror efforts in Afghanistan, while recognising the work of British, NATO and Afghan troops there over the last decade.

The US and NATO both began withdrawing troops from the country on 1 May after US President Joe Biden ordered that all American troops be out of Afghanistan by 11 September.

The US has said it will continue to help Afghan forces and monitor the threat that prompted it to invade the country after the 11 September 9/11 terror attacks in New York and Washington in 2001.

NATO will continue training Afghan special forces outside the country after completing its withdrawal.

The sun sets on Camp Leatherneck, Helmand province, Afghanistan 110313 CREDIT US MARINE CORPS
Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province. Coalition bases will be handed to the Afghan forces as NATO troops withdraw (Picture: US Marine Corps).

During his conversation with Mr Ghani, Mr Johnson pledged UK support for democracy and stability in the Afghanistan moving forward.

Many officials have expressed concern that once the US leaves, the Afghan government and its military will be quickly overrun by the Taliban.

Under the Trump administration, Washington had agreed with the Taliban to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by 1 May 2021, dependant on the Taliban meeting certain counter-terrorism conditions, assessed by the US.

Taliban violence, mostly against civilians and Afghan forces, persisted after this.

In April this year, President Joe Biden pushed back the target date for total drawdown.

Mr Johnson has now said the UK will continue to support a negotiated political settlement to secure peace in Afghanistan.

Cover image: Boris Johnson (Picture: PA).