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Defence Minister backs US decision to leave Afghanistan

Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak positively assessed the maintenance of the previous US administration’s decision to leave Afghanistan this year, adding that Poland is in solidarity with its NATO allies and counts on mutuality of these bonds when needs be.

Mr Błaszczak recalled that during the intervention in Afghanistan, which was a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the basis of the operation was Art. 5 of the Washington Treaty.

“An attack on one NATO country is an attack on all countries of the North Atlantic Alliance. This is a very important principle; solidarity between allies guarantees security,” said the head of the Ministry of National Defence.

“We are active in alliances because we count on support in a situation where Poland is attacked. From our perspective, the most important thing is that we are in solidarity with the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance,” the Minister pointed out.

On Tuesday, the White House announced that by September 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks – the US troops will leave Afghanistan. The administration of Joe Biden stressed that the decision had been made following consultation with NATO allies.

The Polish army has participated in missions in Afghanistan since 2001, initially as part of the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom, later as part of the allied ISAF forces – during this mission, Polish units were responsible for the Ghazni province – and from 2015, after the completion of the ISAF mission, Poland sent a contingent in the Resolute Support advisory and training mission.

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