Afghan President Ashraf Ghani To Meet U.S Counterpart Biden Today, As September Drawdown Looms
Friday, 25 June 2021 -
U.S President Biden will today host his Afghan counterpart, Ghani – who will be flanked by Dr. Abdullah, the chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation – ahead of September 11th the U.S and NATO troops withdrawal from the war-ravaged country.
In its official statement last Sunday, the White House announced that U.S president Joe Biden will host the Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, alongside the country’s High Council for National Reconciliation, Dr. Abdullah. The Afghan leader will meet Biden on Friday in the White House while facing the cold reality of the end of a 20-years long U.S military presence in Afghanistan.
However, the White House in its statement expressed the U.S continued commitment to support the war-torn nation even in the aftermath of September's troop withdrawal.
What’s on The Agenda in Today’s Sit-Down
President Biden, in April 2021, ordered the departure of U.S forces from Afghanistan. But with Ghani's government under increasing security threat from the Taliban insurgency, the top of his priorities would be getting the U.S to commit to offering his government significant security aid in the aftermaths of troop withdrawal. Among others, we expect the following to be on the agenda:
The heightened security threat in Afghanistan may see its leader ask for an extension to the looming September 11th drawdown. But sources cite that it is increasingly unlikely and any extension request will be snuffed.
The Taliban’s request for a “genuine Islamic system” through peace talks is expected to feature prominently in the discussion.
Biden’s plan to evacuate thousands of Afghans who helped the U.S military in the course of the past two decades will feature. Top on the list is informants and interpreters.
The drawdown has coincided with a surge in fights between the Taliban and Afghan security forces, and Dr. Abdullah is expected to highlight a roadmap that will see both sides commit to peaceful means of conflict resolution.
What The U.S Has Said
Ahead of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, in what has been American’s longest war that has lasted 20 years since September 11th, 2001, the White House has committed to supporting the Afghan people by providing economic, humanitarian, and diplomatic assistance.
On the security issue, the U.S has committed to supporting the vulnerable groups in Afghanistan, including girls, women, and minorities. And to achieve that, a White House official said the U.S will keep up its enduring ties with the Afghan people and will remain engaged with Ghani's government to ensure Afghanistan never becomes a safe haven for terrorists.
On the backdrop of the recent surge in violence that has seen the Taliban take control of over 40 more districts, the militants are demanding conditional peace talks, with a “genuine Islamic system” a priority. They want a system that will establish women’s rights in line with Islamic cultural traditions and beliefs.
Failure to meet that demand, the Taliban, on evidence of events in recent months, have promised unrelenting violence that continues to siege many areas across the country. Meanwhile, Ghani’s administration has appointed two security ministers in the wake of the dramatic surge in violence.
(Written and edited by: The Decision Maker Team)