The Spanish Armed Forces will leave Afghanistan in sync with the United States and the rest of the NATO members, who have announced this Wednesday the end of the 'Resolute Support' mission, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York.
The Secret History of the Afghanistan War
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, and of Defense, Margarita Robles, have made this announcement after participating in a special session by videoconference of the NATO Defense and Foreign Ministers, to discuss the withdrawal plan and the promotion of the peace process in the Central Asian country.
The meeting was chaired by the secretaries of State and Defense of the United States, Anthony Blinken and Lloyd Austin, who have discussed with the ministers of the rest of the allied countries the announcement and the way to carry out the withdrawal plan.
Spain arrived in Afghanistan in 2002 with 350 soldiers. However, during the last period it has been reducing its presence and currently has only 24 soldiers in the country, in addition to two interpreters, according to the latest data provided by the Ministry of Defense.
During the meeting, the Defense Minister pointed out that the withdrawal plan proposed by the United States offers "sufficient margin" to "ensure that the democratic progress achieved in the country in matters of human rights, education and the well-being of women and men is consolidated. children ", while, in his view," it is prevented from becoming a sanctuary for terrorist organizations ".
In this sense, he has assured that "the achievements" achieved by Afghan society during the last twenty years have been possible thanks to NATO missions "and the tireless perseverance and sacrifice of the allied Armed Forces."
In addition, Robles pointed out that Spain supports the continuity of the peace process negotiations and has proposed to the Atlantic Alliance "to establish a future NATO-Afghanistan association agreement in the field of Security and Defense."
Spain is committed to a well-coordinated, gradual withdrawal process "that guarantees security and supports the peace process", for which the Spanish Armed Forces will continue in Afghanistan for the necessary time and in close coordination with our allies.
For her part, Minister González Laya stressed that Spain "maintains its commitment to peace, stability and the future of Afghanistan" and that "it will continue to support the Afghan government and civil society to preserve the achievements made in these years, in particularly those relating to the rights of women and girls ". And he has announced that the Embassy of Spain in Kabul will remain open.
Both ministers have also paid tribute to all men and women, civilians and military, who in these 20 years have worked for peace and security in Afghanistan, with special memory to those who gave their lives and their families.