Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
United States President Joe Biden, on Friday, 20 August, stated that the US troops had been sent to Afghanistan with the sole purpose of countering terrorist group Al Qaeda – a mission that the country has fulfilled.
"What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point with al Qaeda gone? We went to Afghanistan for the express purpose of getting rid of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, as well as — as well as getting Osama bin Laden. And we did... We went and did the mission. You’ve known my position for a long, long time. It’s time to end this war."US President Joe Biden
In response to a question posed to the president following the press conference, Biden said that it had not been foreseen that the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan would lead to a "total demise of the Afghan National Force, which was 300 [thousand] persons."
"Let’s assume the Afghan National Force had continued to fight and they were surrounding Kabul. It’d be a very different story. Very different story," said Biden, whose administration has been receiving widespread censure over its withdrawal of the American troops from Afghanistan, leaving the Afghan forces to fend for themselves.
"But the overwhelming consensus was that they — this was not — they were not going to collapse. The Afghan forces, they were not going to leave. They were not going to just abandon and then put down their arms and take off. So, that’s what’s happened," Biden added.
'Attack on US Evacuation Ops by Taliban Will Be Met With Forceful Response': Biden
President Biden said that all measures we being taken to evacuate American citizens and the country's Afghan allies and associates from the conflict-ridden Afghanistan by the US military personnel stationed at the Kabul airport. He stated that any disruption of the evacuation operations by the Taliban will be countered with a "forceful response."
"We’re going to do everything – everything that we can to provide safe evacuation for our Afghan allies, partners, and Afghans who might be targeted if – because of their association with the United States," Biden said during a speech at the White House.
"We’ve been able — we’ve made — look, we’ve made clear to the Taliban that any attack — any attack on our forces or disruption of our operations at the airport will be met with a swift and forceful response."US President Joe Biden
"[A]ny American who wants to come home, we will get you home," Biden further stated.
'Retaining Laser-Focus on Our Counterterrorism Mission': Biden
Emphasising that the US was retaining a laser-focus on its counterterrorism mission, the president indicated that US State Secretary Antony Blinken had met with NATO allies to discuss a way forward that ensures that Afghanistan is not used as a base for terror attacks in the future.
"We’ve also discussed the need to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance, such as food, aid, and medical care for refugees who have crossed into neighboring countries to escape the Taliban; and to bring international pressure on the Taliban with respect to the treatment of the Afghan people overall, but including Afghan, particularly, women and girls."US President Joe Biden
The president indicated that he has spoken to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron, over the Afghanistan crisis.
"We all agreed that we should convene and we will convene the G7 meeting next week — a group of the world’s leading democracies — so that together we can coordinate our mutual approach, our united approach on Afghanistan and moving forward," President Biden indicated.