US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden

Joe Biden blames Afghan leaders for Taliban takeover

ANI | Updated: Aug 17, 2021 03:06 IST

Washington [US], August 17 (ANI): Staunchly defending his move to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden on Monday (local time) admitted that the situation in the war-torn country unfolded more quickly than America anticipated. 

Addressing the nation from the East Room in the White House, his first speech after Kabul fell to the Taliban and the Ashraf Ghani government collapsed, Biden put the blame for the current situation on the Afghan leaders, saying they gave up and fled the country.

"I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years I have learned the hard way that there was no good time to withdraw US forces," he said.

"We were clear-eyed about the risk. The truth is this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. So what happened. Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military collapsed,” he added.

Afghanistan government collapsed earlier on Sunday with President Ashraf Ghani leaving the country.  Taliban entered Kabul early Sunday and have taken control of the presidential palace.

Biden remained at the Camp David presidential retreat with members of his family over the weekend as chaotic images from Kabul emerged.

He returned to Washington today ahead of his address and spoke on the matter which has become the most serious test of Biden's foreign policy since he took office.

Despite facing severe criticism for withdrawing American troops, the President has remained resolute in his decision.

The US is sending troops to secure the airport, a sign of the complicated and contradictory process of winding down America's longest war.

Several countries have evacuated diplomatic personnel from Afghanistan and crowds of people flocked to the Kabul airport in an attempt to leave the country.  (ANI)