Joe Biden To Withdraw Troops From Afghanistan

via - Twitter

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.

However, the US would miss a May deadline for a pull-out agreed with the Taliban by the Trump administration last year.

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.

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.

The new deadline, September 11,  would coincide with the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the US in 2001.
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How has the Taliban reacted?

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.

“Until all foreign forces completely withdraw from our homeland, the Islamic Emirate will not participate in any conference that shall make decisions about Afghanistan,” Wardak tweeted.
 Earlier on Tuesday, The United Nations announced that the Afghan peace conference is scheduled to take place in Istanbul from 24 April to 4 May in cooperation with the government of Qatar.
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.
The idea of convening international stakeholders, including Russia, China, India, Iran, and Pakistan, for an UN-mediated conference on the Afghan peace process in Turkey was first voiced by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani last month.
Timeline of US Involvement in Afghanistan:

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.

(With ANI Inputs)

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