Middle east

Biden, Ghani Discuss Commitment to Strong Partnership After US Pullout, White House Says

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US President Joe Biden and his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani discussed over the phone their commitment to a strong bilateral partnership after the withdrawal of American troops from the South Asian country, the White House said in a readout of the conversation on Wednesday.

Earlier, Biden said the United States will begin its final withdrawal from Afghanistan on May 1 and complete the pullout before the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

“President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Ashraf Ghani,” the readout said. “They discussed their continued commitment to a strong bilateral partnership following the departure of US troops from Afghanistan and affirmed shared respect and gratitude for the sacrifices made by American forces, alongside NATO allies and operational partners, as well as by the Afghan people and Afghan service members over the past two decades.”

During the phone call, Biden emphasized that the United States will continue to support Afghanistan through continued development, humanitarian and security assistance.

The two also reaffirmed that every effort should be made toward the achievement of a political settlement in Afghanistan.

In his address earlier in the day, Biden said the United States will continue to monitor the terror threat in Afghanistan, adding that his administration is refining the US national strategy to monitor and disrupt significant terror threats anywhere they may arise.

The United States will continue to provide assistance to the Afghan Security Forces, Biden said.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in earlier remarks said the US administration expects the Taliban to abide by their obligations in a bilateral accord to not let the country become a safe haven for terrorists.

Psaki added that surrounding countries like Pakistan and India must step up to contribute to ensuring stability in the region.

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