Biden seeks Pakistan’s support as he announces Afghan exit

By: AFP      Published: 12:09 AM, 15 Apr, 2021
Biden seeks Pakistan’s support as he announces Afghan exit

US President Joe Biden warned the Taliban Wednesday he would hold them accountable on Afghanistan after the US exit and urged nations including Pakistan to play supportive roles.

“We will hold the Taliban accountable for its commitment not to allow any terrorists to threaten the US or its allies from Afghan soil. The Afghan government has made that commitment to us as well,” Biden said in a speech announcing an end to America’s longest war.

“We will ask other countries in the region to support Afghanistan, especially Pakistan, as well as Russia, China, India and Turkey.”

Notably not naming Iran, Biden said that the countries in the region “have a significant stake in the stable future” of Afghanistan.

Under an agreement negotiated by former president Donald Trump’s administration, the Taliban promised not to give sanctuary to Al-Qaeda or other foreign extremists—the original reason for the 2001 invasion.

Biden, while saying the United States has accomplished its mission, saluted the efforts of the Afghan government and promised to maintain support.

“They will continue to fight valiantly on behalf of the Afghans at great cost,” Biden said.

 Biden said that the United States had accomplished its "objective" in Afghanistan, but would not be rushed out ahead of time as he announced a withdrawal of all forces by September 11.

"Our presence in Afghanistan should be focused on the reason we went in the first place: to ensure Afghanistan would not be used as a base from which to attack our homeland again," Biden said in a speech from the White House, declaring: "We accomplished that objective."

"We will not conduct a hasty rush to the exit," Biden went on to say. "We will do it responsibly, deliberately and safely."