Washington: US President Joe Biden is looking forward to a meeting with his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani here on Friday during which they will discuss ways to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a “safe haven” for terrorist groups who pose a threat to America, the White House has said.
Biden would meet Ghani at the White House for the first face-to-face interaction ahead of the withdrawal of the remaining US and NATO forces from the war-torn country by September 11.
“The President looks forward to welcoming him to the White House for a meeting. I expect the focus of their conversation will be to continue to discuss how we can work together to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorist groups who pose a threat to the US homeland,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday.
Their conversation will also be about how they can work together to continue to implement humanitarian assistance, other assistance that the United States remains committed to, even as the US works to draw down its troops from Afghanistan.
At the Pentagon, the Defence Department said that Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and the military leadership “are constantly looking at the pace we’re going at, and the capabilities we have, and the capabilities that we’re going to need throughout to complete the withdrawal.
Biden has directed the Pentagon to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan by September 11 this year.
The high-level meeting between Biden and Ghani will take place as the Taliban insurgents have in recent weeks captured dozens of new districts in Afghanistan and both sides are said to have suffered heavy casualties.
On Monday, reports from Kabul said that Taliban fighters have taken control of a key district in northern Kunduz province and encircled the provincial capital.