Florida [US], April 19 (ANI): Former US President Donald Trump on Sunday (local time) praised his successor President Joe Biden's decision of withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan while criticizing his timeline.
According to CNN, the former Commander-in-chief offered his support of Biden's plans to bring home American troops, he urged the incumbent to draw an end to the US' 'longest war' well before the September 11 deadline that Biden set last week.
The former President in a statement said that while leaving Afghanistan is "a wonderful and positive thing to do," he had set a May 1 withdrawal deadline and added that "we should keep as close to that schedule as possible."
"Getting out of Afghanistan is a wonderful and positive thing to do. I planned to withdraw on May 1st, and we should keep as close to that schedule as possible," said the former president.
"I wish Joe Biden wouldn't use September 11 as the date to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, for two reasons. First, we can and should get out earlier. Nineteen years is enough, in fact, far too much and way too long," Trump said, adding: "September 11 represents a very sad event and period for our Country and should remain a day of reflection and remembrance honoring those great souls we lost."
CNN further reported that Trump is the latest former commander in chief to weigh in on Biden's plan, with both former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama has spoken to Biden ahead of his announcement last week. Obama praised Biden's decision to end the nearly 20-year war, which has spanned all four administrations.
Trump's statement earned a pointed rebuke from one of his fiercest allies, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who tweeted on Sunday evening: "I could not disagree more with former President Trump regarding his support for President Biden's withdrawal of all forces from Afghanistan against sound military advice."
"With all due respect to former President Trump, there is nothing 'wonderful' or 'positive' about allowing safe havens and sanctuary for terrorists to reemerge in Afghanistan or see Afghanistan be drawn back into another civil war," Graham, a noted foreign policy hawk, added.
Biden said the withdrawal of American troops will begin on May 1, in line with the agreement the Trump administration made with the Taliban. Some US troops will remain to protect American diplomats, though officials have declined to provide a precise number.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told CNN on Sunday that he supports Biden's decision to pull US troops out of the country, saying the move "radically changes" the context of the situation in the country, the region and the Islamic world. He added that his "entire energy" is now focused on working in that new context.
"I believed that our presence in Afghanistan should be focused on the reason we went in the first place: to ensure Afghanistan would not be used as a base from which to attack our homeland again. We did that. We accomplished that objective," Biden said during an address on Wednesday as quoted by The Hill.
"I've concluded that it's time to end America's longest war. It's time for American troops to come home."
America will mark the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan in October, The Hill reported. (ANI)