US President Biden pledges support for Afghanistan government

World Saturday 24/July/2021 14:55 PM
By: DW
US President  Biden pledges support for Afghanistan government

Washington: US President Joe Biden expressed his support for the Afghan government during a phone call with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the White House said in a statement.

Biden said his administration would continue giving the Afghan people humanitarian and development aid, along with financial assistance for the Afghan security forces.

Biden and Ghani also reportedly criticised the Taliban's ongoing offensive in the country.

"President Biden and President Ghani agreed that the Taliban's current offensive is in direct contradiction to the movement's claim to support a negotiated settlement of this conflict," the White House readout of the call said.

The Taliban have been rapidly gaining territory from the Afghan government, as the US and NATO allies completely withdraw troops from the country.

Afghan officials raised concern on Friday that the Afghan air force is not sufficiently equipped amid the offensive. Biden also discussed this issue with Ghani during the call.

In addition, the Biden administration on Friday authorised up to $100 million (€85 million) in aid to help migrants in Afghanistan.

The US is currently evacuating some Afghans out of the country because they worked with the US government and face danger due to their cooperation. These Afghans receive special immigration visas to live in the US.

The money from the Emergency Refugee and Migration Fund is "for the purpose of meeting unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs, victims of conflict, and other persons at risk as a result of the situation in Afghanistan."

The US State Department criticised the Taliban's attacks on Afghan translators on Friday and also condemned the "destruction of vital infrastructure" by the group.

Although the US supports Ghani's government, the Taliban told the AP news agency on Friday that the current Afghan leader must go if there is to be lasting peace in the country.

The group says it will only stop its offensive if there is a new negotiated government and Ghani's administration dissolves.

"I want to make it clear that we do not believe in the monopoly of power because any governments who (sought) to monopolise power in the past, were not successful governments," Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said. "So, we do not want to repeat that same formula."

Taliban negotiators have been meeting with Afghan government officials in the Qatari capital of Doha for talks, but so far no concrete political settlement has been reached.

A top US general, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, said on Wednesday that the Taliban had "strategic momentum" and added that the group now controls about half of the 419 districts in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon said on Thursday that it recently conducted airstrikes on Afghanistan to push back a Taliban attack.

Critics of the US pullout believe the Taliban could potentially take over Afghanistan completely after troops leave and roll back the advancement of civil liberties and women's rights in the conservative country.
The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to combat Al-Qaida. The US, with the help of NATO allies, ousted the Taliban from power during the invasion, and began training Afghan security forces.