Berlin warns against ‘rash actions’ in Afghanistan, says further troop withdrawal must be linked with peace talks

The German foreign minister has called on the NATO alliance to carefully consider the impact that further troop withdrawals from Afghanistan would have on the peace process, warning against reckless actions.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Tuesday that North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members must be cautious not to jeopardize the peace process in Afghanistan by withdrawing troops prematurely.

“As NATO partners, we want to ensure that we tie further troop reductions in Afghanistan to clear conditions,” he said.

Maas was speaking ahead of a virtual meeting with his NATO colleagues in which troop drawdowns in Afghanistan will be high on the agenda.

People Run in Panic as Indonesia’s Lewotolo Volcano Erupts – Video

No injuries or damage has so far been reported on Lomblen island which is home to more than 100,000 people.

Videos have been shared on YouTube, showing the Lewotolo volcano on Lomblen island in southern Indonesia erupting and spewing smoke and ash into the sky.

Footage shows people, some of them with little children in their arms, running in panic from the area surrounding the volcano.

Cardinal Nichols at 75: ‘A crisis is a crossroads’

“I was told — and you know, when you’re a bishop you do what you told — ‘kneel here at the threshold of the cathedral and pray before you enter.’ And that struck me very forcefully, that the threshold is a very important place,” he recalled.

“And for people coming to church, or people approaching the church, crossing the threshold was a huge, sensitive, and sometimes very difficult action. We trip in and out because we’re too familiar with it all. But for somebody who has been away a long time or somebody who’s exploring faith, crossing the threshold is a huge step.”