Trump holds Biden responsible for the Taliban’s progress in Afghanistan

Washington | Former US President Donald Trump on Thursday blamed his successor, Joe Biden, for the Taliban’s military advances in Afghanistan, saying the current situation was “unacceptable”.

• Read also: Afghanistan: Taliban capture Ghazni city, 150 km southwest of Kabul

• Read also: Afghanistan: Taliban advance north and west

• Read also: Biden says he doesn’t regret his decision to withdraw US troops

“If I were president now, the world would know that our withdrawal from Afghanistan was subject to conditions,” Trump said in a statement.

“It could have been a much different withdrawal, a more successful withdrawal, and the Taliban knew that better than anyone else,” he added.

“I personally had talks with Taliban leaders who understood that what they are doing today will not be tolerated,” he said.

The Taliban on Thursday seized the strategic city of Ghazni, 150 kilometers southwest of Kabul, and is closing dangerously close to the Afghan capital after seizing most of the northern half of the country in a few days.

Donald Trump, who lost the November 2020 election but remains a force within the Republican Party, has not specified how he would have prevented the rebels from advancing.

Under his authority, the United States signed on February 29, 2020, an agreement with the Taliban, in which Washington pledged to withdraw all American forces from Afghanistan before May 1, 2021.

In return, the Taliban pledged to enter into peace negotiations with the Afghan government, to refrain from attacking US forces and their interests in Afghanistan, and to sever ties with al-Qaeda.

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After signing this agreement, the Trump administration sharply reduced the US military presence in Afghanistan and pledged to meet the May 1 deadline for a complete withdrawal from the country.

The downsizing of the US military in Afghanistan continued after the November elections, and when Mr. Biden took office on January 20, there were only 2,500 US military personnel and 16,000 civilian aides in the country.

Joe Biden suspended the withdrawals upon his arrival at the White House to give himself time to analyze the situation and in April confirmed the complete military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The date was initially pushed back to September 11, and then to August 31.

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