Withdrawal of Allied forces from Afghanistan

Today Nato decided that all Allied forces will be withdrawn from Afghanistan within a few months. ‘Norway supports this decision. Everything is now in place for a coordinated, orderly and deliberate drawdown. We will continue to stand with Afghanistan and its people, and to support the peace process,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

Nato held a meeting by video conference with the Nato Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Nato Ministers of Defence 14 April to discuss the path forward for the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan. Norway currently has some 95 military personnel posted to the operation, comprising a medical unit and a special forces unit.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide, and the Minister of Defence, Frank Bakke Jensen, after the decision to withdraw Nato forces from Afghanistan. Credit: Marte Kopstad, MFA
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide, and the Minister of Defence, Frank Bakke Jensen, after the decision to withdraw Nato forces from Afghanistan. Credit: Marte Kopstad, MFA

‘It was essential to our military engagement that we went into Afghanistan together, adjusted together, and we are now leaving together. We should be proud of what Norway has contributed in Afghanistan. Our soldiers have provided much-needed expertise that has really made a difference on the ground, and Norway has also played a prominent role in civilian and humanitarian efforts,’ said Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen.

Nato will start the withdrawal of RSM forces by 1 May, and plans to complete the withdrawal of all forces by September. The specific time frame for the withdrawal of Norwegian forces will be established in close discussion with Nato, and will be determined later.

The Nato Allies have conferred closely in recent months regarding the future of Nato’s military presence in Afghanistan. The meeting convened on 14 April was a part of this process.