U.S. President Joe Biden met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his former political foe, Abdullah Abdullah, on Friday at the White House where he called on Afghans to decide the fate of their country as the last U.S. troops pack up after 20 years of war and Afghans military forces struggle to repel the Taliban advances in the region.
“Afghans are going to have to decide their future, what they want,’ said Biden, saying the “senseless violence has to stop”.
Biden called Ghani and Abdullah “two old friends” and assured them U.S. support despite the U.S. pull-out from the country. Ghani said Afghans military forces have retaken six districts including Andkhoi and khan Chahar Bagh in Faryab, Khinjan, and Doshi in Baghlan, Ahmad Aba, and Sayed Karam in Paktia.
The Taliban have made advances in several districts of Afghanistan, already controlling the country’s border crossing with Tajikistan.
Speaking with reporters after the meeting, Ghani said the U.S. decision to pull out troops was a sovereign one and it was Kabul's job to “manage consequences”. Abdullah said in a Reuters interview after the Biden meeting that “ I think we shouldn’t shut the door unless it’s completely shut by the Taliban”.
Biden has asked Congress to approve $3.3 billion of security assistance next year to Afghanistan and is sending 3 million vaccine doses for the country to battle Covid-19.
The meeting is a crucial step towards a new phase of bipartisan leadership between the U.S.- Afghanistan while U.S. troop's withdrawal reaches the endpoint.