”It’s time to end America’s longest war”, says president Biden

''It's time to end America's longest war'', says president Biden
US President Joe Biden speaks from the Treaty Room of the White House about the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. Source: EPA-EFE
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Daily US Times: President Joe Biden said it’s time to end ‘America’s longest war’ in Afghanistan but adding that the US will continue to support the country after withdrawing all US troops, but not “militarily”.

“It is time to end America’s longest war,” president Biden said in a speech from the White House room where US airstrikes there were first declared in 2001.

Biden administration officials say the pull-out is to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the 11 September 2001 terror attacks.

At least 2,500 US soldiers are part of the 9,600-strong Nato Afghan mission.

The number of US soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan fluctuates, and according to US media, the current total is closer to 3,500.

US and Nato officials have said the Taliban have so far failed to live up to commitments to reduce violence in Afghanistan.

Afghan officials say that they will continue peace talks in preparation for the withdrawal.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani tweeted that he had spoken with president Biden on phone on Wednesday and that the country “respects the US decision and we will work with our US partners to ensure a smooth transition”.

Mr Ghani added that Afghanistan’s defence forces “are fully capable of defending its people and country”.

Mr Biden, the fourth president to oversee the war, said in his White House briefing: “We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result.”

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