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President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Biden says US won’t take ‘eye off’ terror threat in Afghanistan

AT News

KABUL: As the United States is withdrawing from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that U.S. government ‘will not take its eye off the terrorist threat in Afghanistan.”

In a letter to congressional committees, Biden vowed that the U.S. “will recognize its counterterrorism capabilities and assets in the region to prevent the reemergence of a terrorist threat in Afghanistan”.

He said the U.S. will hold the Taliban and the Afghan government accountable to their commitments not to allow terrorists to threaten the United States or its allies from Afghan soil. “And we will refine our national strategy to monitor and disrupt terrorist threats wherever they arise.”

Biden in the letter said that over the past few decades, the US and its partners have trained hundreds of thousands of Afghan troops, adding that the Afghan security force members currently number close to 300,000, and “they will continue to fight valiantly to protect the Afghan citizens.”

He also vowed that Washington will continue to pursue diplomacy and fully support peace talks between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, facilitated by the United Nations. “And we will encourage other nations in the region, especially Pakistan, to do more to support Afghanistan and to support stability in the country,” he said. “But we will not allow United States troops to be a bargaining chip between warring parties in other countries.  That is a recipe for staying indefinitely in Afghanistan.” 

On April 14, Biden announced that the US troops will leave Afghanistan by September 11. Biden said he reached this conclusion “after conducting a rigorous policy review process and consulting closely with our allies and partners, with our military leaders and intelligence personnel, with our diplomats and our development experts, with the Congress and the Vice President, and with the President of Afghanistan and many other leaders around the world.” 

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