Biden invites Afghan leaders to White House as troop withdrawal almost done

Washington DC – With weeks to go before the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is completed, US President Joe Biden is set to host the leaders of the Afghan government in the White House on Friday, according his spokesperson.

Joe Biden (r.) is set to welcome Afghan leaders Ashraf Ghani (l.) and Abdullah Abdullah at the White House on Friday.
Joe Biden (r.) is set to welcome Afghan leaders Ashraf Ghani (l.) and Abdullah Abdullah at the White House on Friday.  © Collage: IMAGO / photothek, IMAGO / UPI Photo

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the chairperson of the High Council for National Reconciliation, will be at the meeting with Biden, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Sunday.

The visit "will highlight the enduring partnership between the United States and Afghanistan as the military drawdown continues," according to a White House press release.

Biden announced in April that US troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11, slightly less than two decades after the US military presence in that country was established.

Tyre Nichols' family and Monterey Park hero get special invite to Joe Biden's State of the Union
Joe Biden Tyre Nichols' family and Monterey Park hero get special invite to Joe Biden's State of the Union

The announcement – which kept US troops in Afghanistan slightly longer than a plan put forward by the last US administration – prompted most Western allies to also announce the departure of their forces.

The pull-out began in May. Since then, Taliban forces have launched multiple offensives and claimed control of a variety of Afghan districts, raising fears about the long-term stability of the government in Kabul once the US military presence is gone.

The US has said it will continue to provide diplomatic and economic support to Afghanistan.

"The United States will remain deeply engaged with the government of Afghanistan to ensure the country never again becomes a safe haven for terrorist groups who pose a threat to the US homeland," read Sunday's statement.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / photothek, IMAGO / UPI Photo

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