President Joe Biden will withdraw US combat troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. This means declaring an end to the nation’s longest war of 20 years.
“It is time for American troops to come home.” — President Biden announcing the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/hHJm0nDuib
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 14, 2021
The deal signed in February last year said the US and its Nato allies would withdraw all troops in 14 months if the Taliban upheld its promises. The conditions include not allowing al-Qaeda or other militants to operate in areas it controlled and proceeding with national peace talks. Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani said that that he respects the U.S decision and will work with U.S to ensure a smooth transition.
Tonight, I had a call with President Biden in which we discussed the U.S. decision to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan by early September. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan respects the U.S. decision and we will work with our U.S. partners to ensure a smooth transition.
— Ashraf Ghani (@ashrafghani) April 14, 2021
As a condition of starting negotiations with the Afghan government, the Taliban also demanded the release of thousands of their men in a prisoner swap. Direct talks then began in Doha in September 2020, but a breakthrough has still not been reached.
As of now, Taliban’s spokesperson Mohammad Naeem Wardak said that the movement would refrain from taking part in any conference until foreign military presence in Afghanistan is ended.
While Kabul confirmed to Sputnik that its delegation would attend the event, the Taliban’s political bureau in Qatar told Sputnik on Monday that the group would not join the conference if it took place on April 16. Later, a source in the movement told Sputnik that the Taliban might attend the meeting if it is held four days later than the expected date.
Sept. 11, 2001 – U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is triggered by the twin suicide attacks on the United States plotted in Afghanistan by al Qaeda militant leader Osama bin Laden.
Oct 7, 2001 – U.S. forces begin air campaign with strikes on Taliban al Qaeda forces.
Dec. 22, 2001 – Hamid Karzai, an ethnic Pashtun opponent of the Taliban, is sworn in as interim leader.
Feb. 17, 2009 – Barack Obama, in his first major military decision as president, orders 17,000 more combat troops to Afghanistan to tackle an intensifying insurgency.
May 1, 2011 – Bin Laden is killed in a raid by U.S. forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
2011 – The number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan peaks at about 100,000 as part of a surge that involves intensified CIA drone attacks on Taliban and other militants in Pakistan.
Sep. 4, 2018 – Afghan-born U.S. diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad is appointed U.S. special representative to seek negotiations with the Taliban.
Feb. 29, 2020 – After months of on-off talks, the United States signs a troop withdrawal agreement in Doha with the Taliban.