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Withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan: Joe Biden promises American “support” to Ashraf Ghani


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US President Joe Biden received his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani at the White House on Friday as part of discussions on the security of Afghanistan before the withdrawal of the last US troops. He assured him of American “support” for his country.

It was a very symbolic meeting between the American president and his Afghan counterpart. Joe Biden promised Ashraf Ghani on Friday June 25 the United States’ “support” for his country, at a time when the current withdrawal of American troops opens a period of immense uncertainty.

“Our troops are leaving but this is not the end of our support for Afghanistan,” declared the Democratic President, who announced in April the withdrawal of the 2,500 American soldiers still present there. “The Afghans will have to decide their future, what they want,” he added from the Oval Office, stressing the “extremely difficult” task that awaits the Afghan leaders: to put an end to the violence.

If Joe Biden has displayed a form of complicity with Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, chief negotiator of the government in the talks with the Taliban (he mentioned “old friends”), no press conference was planned at the end. of their meeting.

The stated objective of the White House: to work closely with the government in Kabul to ensure that Afghanistan “never again becomes a refuge for terrorist groups which represent a threat to American territory”.

Ashraf Ghani more and more isolated

From Paris, the head of the American diplomacy Antony Blinken had recognized, a few hours earlier, that the offensives of the insurgents against the Afghan security forces were multiplying in a worrying manner. “But the status quo would not have helped, the status quo was not an option,” he said, defending the president’s controversial decision.

Joe Biden has set September 11 as the deadline for withdrawal, the 20th anniversary of the attacks that led Washington to overthrow the Taliban regime that housed Al-Qaeda jihadists. The withdrawal has so far been carried out with vigor, fueling speculation that it will be completed as early as July.

But many elected officials and experts fear that the insurgents will regain control of the country and impose a fundamentalist regime similar to the one they had set up between 1996 and 2001.

In addition, Ashraf Ghani seems more and more isolated and powerless. “Ghani does not have much legitimacy in his country” and more than ever needs “international recognition”, summarizes Andrew Watkins of the International Crisis Group. He then hopes “not to be completely abandoned by the Americans”, confirms the Washington correspondent for France 24, Matthieu Mabin.

Difficult negotiations with the Taliban

During a meeting at the Pentagon with Defense Minister Lloyd Austin, the Afghan president brushed aside the hypothesis of a “Taliban takeover in six months”, stressing that these scenarios had “all turned out to be false.”

While he still hopes to convince the Taliban to accept a role in an interim government of national unity, the insurgents, encouraged by their military successes, seem reluctant to negotiate.

“The Defense Ministry is deeply invested in the security and stability of Afghanistan and the search for a negotiated agreement to end the war”, for his part declared the head of the Pentagon.

The plight of some 18,000 Afghans who worked with US forces, who fear reprisals if the Taliban return to power in Kabul, is the subject of special attention in Washington. “We will not abandon those who have helped us,” Joe Biden assured Thursday, without going into details.

With AFP



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