President United StateAnd Joe BidenAnd it said in a statement, Tuesday (24), that it intends to keep the August 31 date as an end to the withdrawal of all its citizens and allies from AfghanistanAnd fulfill the agreement with the Taliban movement that dominates the country.
“We will continue our close cooperation to get people out as quickly and efficiently as possible. The sooner we finish the better,” Biden said.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki had already expected in a statement that the US president would meet the deadline for withdrawal.
“He also made it clear that with every day of ground operations, we are increasing the danger to our forces as the threats from the Islamic State grow,” Psaki said.
Biden added that completing the task by August 31 depends on “continued coordination with the State Department.” Taliban‘, which must keep its part of the agreement.
Afghan civilians prepare to board a plane to leave the country at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Wednesday (18) – Photo: Sgt. Victor Manchilla/USMC via Associated Press
This includes constant access to the airport. Despite this, the president asked the Pentagon and State Department contingency plans to adjust the schedule if necessary.
He said that 12,700 people were evacuated through 37 US flights, and 8,900 were evacuated by coalition flights during the past 24 hours. The Pentagon added that the military has increased the frequency of flights from Kabul to a plane that takes off every 45 minutes.
In total, since August 14, on the eve of the Taliban takeover of Kabul, 70,700 people have been safely evacuated from Afghanistan, according to Biden.
The United States had been withdrawing its presence on Afghan soil since May this year, but efforts accelerated after the Taliban regained power on August 15.
The Americans control the international airport in Kabul and organize pick-up flights for foreigners and Afghans who have contributed to the government.
Biden said on Sunday (22) that the planes leaving Kabul do not go directly to the United States, so first It will land on US bases around the world for security reasons.
Video: Understanding the history of the power struggle in Afghanistan
Biden’s statement on keeping the deadline goes against expectations of European leaders who want to count on his support to demand more time to withdraw from the Taliban, especially British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
after, after Virtual meeting on Tuesday morningIn which he informed Biden of the decision, Johnson also said that the G7 nations agreed that the Taliban “must give free and safe passage to foreigners and Afghans who want to leave Afghanistan after the 31st.”
US President Joe Biden attends a virtual meeting of the Group of Seven on Tuesday (24) on the withdrawal of citizens from Afghanistan – Image: Reproduction/Twitter/WhiteHouse
Despite Johnson’s statement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after the meeting that the G7 meeting did not result in an extension of the deadline for evacuations.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said only that the G7 leaders agreed that they should pressure the Taliban to allow people to leave Afghanistan after the deadline.
But also on this Tuesday, The Taliban said it does not accept any plans to extend the withdrawal period. In addition, the extremist group has also tried to dissuade Afghans from trying to flee the country via Kabul airport.
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