‘We will be with you’: US President Biden assures Afghan leaders

‘We will be with you’: US President Biden assures Afghan leaders

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden has told his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani that the people of Afghanistan “have to decide their own future” but assured him that the US “will be with you” even after US troops leave the war – the nation torn by September .
Biden, who held his first one-on-one meeting with Ashraf Ghani at the White House on Friday, said the US partnership with the South Asian nation would continue.
“The partnership between Afghanistan and the United States is not coming to an end. This is going to continue,” Biden told reporters in a joint media appearance with President Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah in the Oval Office of the White House.
Biden said that US troops may be leaving, but support for Afghanistan is not ending in terms of helping them maintain their military as well as economic and political support.
“The Afghans will have to decide their future by what they want – what they want. What they want. But it will not be because of our lack of help.
“But we will be with you. And we will do our best to see that you have the equipment you need,” the US president assured top Afghan leaders before the US troop withdrawal before September 11.
Ghani, who sat with Biden, said Afghanistan is grateful for the blood and treasure shed by the US over the past two decades to defend its country, which now finds itself facing a direct fight against Taliban militants.
Biden has announced that the US military presence in Afghanistan will end by September 11 this year – the 20th anniversary of 9/11 coordinated suicide attacks against the US by al-Qaeda, which was based in Afghanistan.
The meeting between Biden and Afghan leaders comes as Taliban fighters have captured dozens of key districts in Afghanistan in a recent attack.
Afghan leaders held meetings with top officials in the Biden administration, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, CIA Director William Burns and top congressional leadership.
As the US prepares for its Afghan exit, Biden said the two visiting leaders have had a very difficult task.
“They are doing important work, trying to bring unity among Afghan leaders across the board. Afghans have to decide their future what they want. But it won’t be for our lack of help… Violence, it has to stop, but it’s going to be very difficult,” Biden said.
Ghani said the US is entering a new chapter in bilateral ties with Afghanistan where the partnership will not only be military, but will be comprehensive in relation to their mutual interest.
“We are very encouraged and satisfied that this partnership is taking place. Thank you for sorting the priorities,” he said.
“The Afghan nation dates back to 1861, as President (Abraham) Lincoln rallies to defend the republic, determined that the republic is defended. It is a choice of values. Values ​​of an exclusionary system or an inclusive system We are determined to have the national spirit of unity, solidarity, sacrifice, and will leave nothing behind,” he said.
Afghan defense and security forces have retaken six districts in both the south and north of the country. “It is showing our determination. So, I hope no one will Bernard Shaw on us. Inflating our debt before anything happens,” he said.
“Let us understand that things happen in moments of great change. But you will see that with determination, with unity, and with partnership, we will overcome all obstacles,” Ghani said.
Earlier at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Austin noted how the Defense Department “is deeply invested in the security and stability of Afghanistan and in the pursuit of a negotiated settlement”. They reaffirmed America’s commitment to an enduring partnership, particularly strong defense ties, with Afghanistan.
“I believe that as firm support begins to dwindle, we will transition into a new relationship with Afghanistan and Afghan forces. One that continues to fulfill your responsibilities to your citizens,” Austin said.
“We will continue to partner with the Afghan government and the Afghan military. And we will continue to work in new and different ways towards our common goal.”
In his remarks, Ghani focused on “from war to peace” and how “its impact is profound”. The Afghan leader said in his discussions with Congress he respected the decision to withdraw US forces.
Ghani said Afghanistan was entering its “1861 moment” when President Lincoln entered a besieged Washington and eventually saved the United States. “Afghanistan has a similar approach. The roots of the republic are strong, but in reality together we will be able to do this.”
In a fact sheet, the White House later said that the US would continue to provide assistance through its enduring partnership with Afghanistan to promote a peaceful and stable future that the Afghan people want and deserve.
“Our strong support and partnership is designed to prevent Afghanistan from being re-used as a safe haven for terrorism; maintaining Afghan stability and building self-reliance; promote economic development; To preserve social benefits in education, health and women empowerment and rule of law; protect the rights of women, girls and minorities; strengthen Afghan civil society; and respond to human needs,” the White House said.
Since 2002, the US has provided approximately US$88 billion in security aid, US$36 billion in civil aid, including US$787 million specifically to support Afghan women and girls, and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. About 3.9 billion USD is involved.

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