President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the United States intends to complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan by August 31 and that an urgent withdrawal is needed due to the growing threat of terrorist attacks.
“The sooner we can end it, the better,” Biden said of plans to withdraw Americans, Afghan civilians and US troops from Taliban-held Kabul.
“Every day of the operation brings additional danger to our troops.”
The president said he had discussed the evacuation with Group of Seven leaders early Tuesday and agreed to “continue our close cooperation to get people out as efficiently and safely as possible.” Is.”
“We are currently in the process of ending by August 31,” Biden said, adding that some European leaders are under pressure to extend the deadline to ensure the evacuation of anyone seeking to flee the country.
“Meeting the August 31 deadline depends on continuing to co-operate with the Taliban and allowing access to the airport for those we are taking out,” he said.
“I have asked the Pentagon and the State Department for emergency plans to adjust the timetable if necessary,” Biden added.
Biden said the Taliban are still “taking steps to work with us”, but there is a serious and growing threat of an attack by a terrorist group known as “ISIS-K” or Islamic State of Khorasan.
“Every day when we are on the ground, there is another day when we know that ISIS wants to target the airport and attack US and coalition forces and innocent civilians,” he said.
US-led forces have stepped up operations to evacuate thousands of people from Kabul by August 31 – the deadline set by the United States before the fall of the capital for the withdrawal of all foreign troops.
Biden said the United States had evacuated 70,700 people since August 14 – the day before the Taliban took power in Kabul – including 6,400 in the last 12 hours.
More than 4,000 Americans were among those leaving the Afghan capital’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, US officials said.
Thousands more have been evacuated from European countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom.
The Taliban on Tuesday urged skilled Afghans not to flee the country and warned the United States and its NATO allies that they would not accept an extension of the withdrawal deadline.
A spokesman for the hardline Islamist group called on the United States to stop taking “Afghan specialists” such as engineers and doctors out of the country.
“This country needs their skills. They should not be taken to other countries,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a news conference in the capital.
European countries have said they will not be able to relocate all at-risk Afghans to the airport before the August 31 cut-off, and Biden has faced calls from all sides to increase the evacuation window.
Mujahid said the Islamist group opposes expansion.
They have planes, they have airports, they have to evacuate their citizens and contractors.
Germany says Western allies cannot expel every Afghan who needs protection before the deadline on Tuesday.
“If (the evacuation) continues until August 31 or a few more days, it will not be enough,” Foreign Minister Haiku Moss told Blood TV.
France said it would have to end its withdrawal from Kabul airport on Thursday if the United States sticks to the deadline, and Spain said it would not be able to save all Afghans who served in the Spanish mission.
Spanish Defense Minister Margareta Rubles said Taliban checkpoints and violence were making it difficult for people to reach Kabul airport to take one of Spain’s daily military flights out of Afghanistan.
At the G7 summit, EU leaders urged Biden to keep Kabul airport safe until operations to evacuate vulnerable Afghans were completed.
Many Afghans fear a repeat of the brutal interpretation of Islamic law that the Taliban first brought to power in 1996-2001, or revenge for working with a US-backed government over the past two decades.
On Tuesday, Mujahid said Afghan government women workers should stay at home until the security situation in the country improves.
The World Bank, meanwhile, said it had suspended aid to Afghanistan and was “deeply concerned” about the situation there after the Taliban took power, especially for the prospects of women.
“We have stopped deliveries in our operations in Afghanistan and we are closely monitoring the situation,” a World Bank official said.
According to the bank’s website, the World Bank has more than two dozen development projects underway in the country and has provided 5. 5.3 billion since 2002, mostly in grants.
Biden won a landslide victory for the Taliban after the withdrawal of almost all US troops from Afghanistan, following an agreement reached with former President Donald Trump’s movement.
However, Biden was forced to redeploy thousands of troops after the fall of Kabul to monitor the aircraft.
According to the Washington Post, William Burns, the head of the US Central Intelligence Agency, had a secret meeting with Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul on Monday, although no details were released and neither the CIA nor the Taliban. Confirmed it
The rush to get out of Kabul has created horrific scenes and killed at least eight people.
But a United Nations intelligence survey found that militants were going from house to house preying on former government officials and those working with US and NATO forces.
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