Biden rules out meeting May 1 deadline of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

Washington:US President Joe Biden has ruled out the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan by May 1, the deadline set by his predecessor Donald Trump as per an agreement with the Taliban last year.
“It’s gonna be hard to meet the May 1 deadline just in terms of tactical reasons, hard to get those troops out. So, what we’ve been doing, what I’ve been doing, and what Secretary (of State, Tony) Blinken has been doing has been we’ve been meeting with our allies, those other nations that have NATO allies who have troops in Afghanistan as well. And if we leave, we’re gonna do so in a safe and orderly way,” he said.
Addressing his first solo news conference in the East Room of the White House on Thursday, Biden said his administration is in consultation with allies and partners in how to proceed in Afghanistan.
US Secretary of State Tony Blinken is meeting with NATO allies in Brussels this week. Biden also referred to the Afghanistan visit of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
There’s a UN-led process that’s beginning shortly on how to end this war, he said.
“It is not my intention to stay there for a long time. But the question is how and on what circumstances do we meet that agreement that was made by President Trump to leave under a deal that looks like it’s not being able to be worked out to begin with? How’s that done? But we are not staying a long time,” Biden said.
“We will leave. The question is when we leave,” he added.
When a reporter asked, “Do you believe, though, it’s possible we could have troops there next year?”, Biden replied, “I can’t picture that being the case.” PTI

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