President Joe Biden warned Friday that the evacuation from Afghanistan was one of the “largest and most difficult in history,” despite insisting on his commitment to removing Afghans who cooperated with US forces.
In a tone less defiant than in recent days, Biden reported from the White House on the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, while the evacuation of Americans and their allies from Afghanistan continues, where the United States has so far removed about 13,000 people since August 14. .
This week has been heartbreaking. The president stressed that thousands of people who thronged Kabul airport are trying to leave the Asian country after the Taliban came to power.
Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, admitted that he could not foresee what would happen.
“I cannot promise you what the end result will be or what will happen without risking losses, but as Commander-in-Chief, I can assure you that I will use all necessary resources,” the President stressed a few days later. which was criticized for the lack of contingency plans.
A short pause in the evacuation
Indeed, US forces, coordinating the exit process, had to halt flights for a few hours on Friday because there was no longer room in transit centers to receive evacuees in Qatar.
Biden himself acknowledged the pause, though he added that US military leaders had “already ordered the take-off to resume.”
After that, the Pentagon indicated that similar centers will be opened in other countries of the Persian Gulf to continue the evacuation work, and that many flights will land today in Germany due to the impossibility of processing more arrivals to Qatar.
In recent days, the White House has reported an agreement with the Taliban to allow Americans and Afghans who wanted to travel to Kabul airport, but information on the ground casts doubt on the compliance of the insurgents, who have blocked and harassed the passage of many. who are they.
Adding to this confusing scenario are messages from the US embassy in Kabul that warned this week that it could not guarantee “safe” transit for its citizens and warned that airport doors could be “closed and opened without warning” due to “crowded crowds and security concerns”.
Biden said Friday that they will do everything in their power to provide a safe evacuation “for Afghan allies and partners, as well as for Afghans who may be persecuted because of their relationship with the United States.”
G7 private meeting
And while he emphasized the leadership of the United States, as “the only country” that could implement such a logistical challenge, the president stressed the importance of international cooperation to resolve the crisis.
To do this, he announced that next week the G7 would hold a “special meeting” on Afghanistan at which the group (made up of Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States) would seek to establish a “unified approach.”
In recent days, the president spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron, who have expressed concern about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.
Biden dismissed the possibility of US allies criticizing the decision to withdraw troops from the Central Asian country.
“I have not seen any doubt about our credibility on the part of our allies in the world,” the president said when asked about it.
Biden also insisted that “international pressure” should focus on the Taliban regarding their treatment of Afghans, specifically women and girls, in light of the anxiety created by the fundamentalists’ rise to power.
The United States began withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan in May but was forced to speed up the evacuation of Americans remaining in Afghanistan and their allies after the rapid advance of the Taliban, who captured and controlled Kabul last Sunday. The escape of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
In addition, it was forced to send military reinforcements to ensure the security of the airport, after the capital fell to the militants, which surprised Washington.
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