Blinken visits Afghanistan day after US announces plans for withdrawal

Blinken visits Afghanistan day after US announces plans for withdrawal
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Afghanistan on Thursday in an unannounced visit to the country where US soldiers have been fighting for nearly two decades.

Blinken touched down in the Afghan capital Kabul less than 24 hours after the US and the NATO coalition formally announced they would withdraw their troops from the country after nearly 20 years.

In remarks alongside Afghan political leaders, Mr Blinken attempted to underscore that although the US military presence on the ground was drawing to a close, its commitment to the country and its people would remain.

President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that all US troops would begin to withdraw by May 1 — the deadline set out in the deal the former Trump administration signed with the Taliban last year — and would be gone by September 11 — the 20th anniversary of the deadly terrorist attack on US soil that set into motion America’s longest running war.s

While meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Mr Blinken said he “wanted to demonstrate, with my visit, the ongoing commitment of the United States to the Islamic Republic and the people of Afghanistan.”

The Afghan president said that he respected the US decision to withdraw topps and that Afghanistan was “adjusting our priorities.”

The top US diplomat also met with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation and told him that they “have a partnership that is changing, but is enduring.”

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