US President Joe Biden will meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chairman of the Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah at the White House on Friday to discuss the surge in fighting between the Afghan army and the Taliban across the country On the occasion of the issue of withdrawing troops.
The White House said in a statement on Sunday that Biden will seek to reassure Ghani and Abdullah of U.S. support for the Afghan people, including diplomatic, economic and humanitarian assistance, during the first face-to-face meeting. Biden will also reiterate his commitment to ensure that the country will never become a safe haven for armed groups.
The White House stated: “The visit of President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah will highlight the enduring partnership between the United States and Afghanistan as the military drawdown continues.”
Since Biden decided in April to withdraw all U.S. troops by September 11 to end the United States’ longest conflict in nearly 20 years, the Taliban have fought against government forces every day and claimed to have occupied 40 areas.
As the United States began to withdraw its troops and shut down some bases and handed them over to the Afghan government on May 1, the organization launched a campaign to expand its influence across the country.
The Taliban called the visit “useless”.
“They (Ghani and Abdullah) will talk to US officials to protect their power and personal interests,” said Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid. “It will not benefit Afghanistan.”
Ghani’s office did not immediately respond, but a senior Afghan official stated that the Afghan president will seek assurances from the United States to continue to support the Afghan security forces after the withdrawal.
The negotiations between the Taliban and representatives of the Afghan government in Qatar are progressing slowly, and this visit will also take place.
Officials expressed concern about the deadlock in the negotiations and stated that the Taliban had not yet submitted a written peace proposal that could be used as a starting point for substantive negotiations.
In May, U.S. intelligence analysts issued an assessment stating that if the Taliban regained national power, the Taliban “would “regress a lot” in progress in women’s rights in Afghanistan.
The Taliban said on Sunday that it will continue to work on peace negotiations, but insisted that establishing a “true Islamic system” in Afghanistan is the only way to end the war and ensure rights-including women’s rights.
“A true Islamic system is the best way to solve all the problems of Afghans,” said Taliban co-founder and deputy leader Mullah Abdul Gani Baradar.
U.S. expedited visa
Afghans working for the United States during the two-year deployment of US-led NATO forces fear that armed groups will target them and their families as retaliation for helping foreign troops.
The Biden administration said it is adding staff to speed up visa procedures for Afghans. However, refugee advocates and some members of Congress stated that this effort did not meet their expectations.
US National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan said in an interview with ABC News on Sunday that this issue is a “top priority” for Biden and that the government is letting people leave “at a record speed”, even though he did not give it. specific number.
“If necessary, we are making extensive planning for potential evacuation. We will take all these steps to ensure that we do the right people and do the right things,” he said.
When asked whether the increase in violence in the country forced the government to delay the U.S. withdrawal from Bagram Air Force Base, Afghanistan’s largest U.S. military base, Sullivan stated that the plan has not changed so far, but added:
“What we are doing is checking every week as the drawdown unfolds, whether this is in line with our efforts to ensure that the embassy has enough security personnel to ensure airport security.”
Last week, the United States welcomed Turkey’s pledge to protect the security of Kabul’s airport to resolve a critical issue.
Turkey, as a Muslim-majority country and a member of the transatlantic alliance NATO, has played a key role in Afghanistan since 2001, including sending troops to a non-combat role, and recently welcomed the Taliban and government officials to talk about the country’s future .
Kabul Airport was developed after 2001 with the support of the United States and Japan. It provides an economic lifeline and is regarded as vital to the future of Afghanistan.