US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

US senator McConnell meets Afghan leaders, hopes Biden will delay troop withdrawal

ANI | Updated: Jun 25, 2021 14:26 IST

Washington [US], June 25 (ANI): US Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday met with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani along with other leaders at the Capitol and said that he hopes President Biden will delay the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.
President Ghani, who is accompanied by Abdullah Abdullah the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation and other Afghan officials, was on his two-day visit to the US, TOLOnews reported.
"President Biden's decision to withdraw US forces leaves our Afghan partners alone to confront threats that his own top advisors acknowledge are grave and growing worse," McConnel said in a statement.
"The Taliban, emboldened by our retreat, is rolling back years of progress, especially for the rights of Afghan women, on its way to taking Kabul," he said, adding that "increasing indications that this collapse could come soon after US withdrawal is complete are as tragic as they are avoidable."
He said that in the Taliban's wake, al-Qaeda is already preparing for an ambitious resurgence of its own, which the President's own Defence Secretary warns could lead to direct threats to the US homeland in as little as two years. "Without a reversal of US policy, I suspect this threat will come much more quickly," he said.
"President Ghani and the people of Afghanistan are entitled to wonder why the Biden Administration has chosen to abandon the fight and invite even greater terrorist threats," McConnell said. "They are right to expect answers about how the United States will honour its commitments to brave Afghans who have helped US forces, and how we will assist in mitigating the security and humanitarian fallout of a Taliban takeover."

TOLOnews further reported quoting McConnell that he hopes the Biden Administration will delay the withdrawal, address these concerns, and reconsider its misguided retreat. "As President Ghani and the Afghan people know, the threats we face from terrorism and tyranny have not been defeated," he concluded.
The Afghan delegation also met with US Senator Jim Risch, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
This meet comes amid a dramatic surge in violence in Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of US troops. Taliban has increased its spring offensive and attempted to siege more areas. The United States said that it is committed to supporting the Afghan people by providing diplomatic, economic, and humanitarian assistance to support the Afghan people, including Afghan women, girls and minorities.
"The US 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," the statement said.

The US continues to fully support the ongoing peace process and encourages all Afghan parties to participate meaningfully in negotiations to bring an end to the conflict, it added.
Earlier, Biden announced that the US will start its final withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan on May 1 and complete its pullout ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. (ANI)