US united with NATO allies to bring 'responsible' end to conflict in Afghanistan, says Blinken

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Washington [US], March 23 (ANI/Sputnik): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that Washington stood united with NATO allies in efforts to bring a "responsible" end to the conflict in Afghanistan.

"Tactical decisions aside, we are united with our NATO allies in seeking to bring a responsible end to this conflict and to remove our troops from harm's way, just as we are collectively determined to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists who could threaten the United States or our allies," Blinken said at a press conference alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels.

The foreign ministers of NATO member states on Tuesday convened for a two-day in-person meeting in Brussels, for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, the Taliban movement urged the US to complete the pullout of its troops from Afghanistan by May 1 as agreed last year. Suhail Shaheen, a member of the movement's negotiating team, said at recent talks in Moscow that the US forces would violate the February 2020 agreement with the Taliban by staying in Afghanistan beyond the May deadline.

US President Joe Biden, in turn, told ABC News earlier in March that it would be "tough" for all US servicemen to leave Afghanistan by May 1. The US president also said that the final decision on the pullout of troops was yet to be made and Washington was consulting with its allies on the matter. The NBC News reported last week, citing sources, that the Biden administration was considering extending the US troop deployment in Afghanistan until November. (ANI/Sputnik)