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01 Sep 2021: 'Best decision': Joe Biden defends US withdrawal from Afghanistan
United States President Joe Biden on Tuesday defended his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, saying it was in the national interest. "This is the right decision. A wise decision. And the best decision for America," he told his country, a day after the last US troops left Afghanistan, ending the two-decade war and marking the beginning of a new era.
Quote: 'I was not going to extend this forever war'
"I was not going to extend this forever war," Biden said from the White House. "And I was not going to extend a forever exit." "I simply do not believe that the safety and security of America is enhanced by continuing to deploy thousands of American troops and spending billions of dollars in Afghanistan," he added in the statement.
Statement: 'Maybe it's because my deceased son...'
On ending the war, Biden said, "I don't think enough people understand how much we have asked of the one percent of this country who put that uniform on, who are willing to put their lives on the line in defense of our nation." "Maybe it's because my deceased son, Beau, served in Iraq for a full year, before that." Beau died in 2015.
Evacuation: Despite chaos, Biden calls the airlift an 'extraordinary success'
Biden called the US' efforts to evacuate more than 1,20,000 Americans and allies an "extraordinary success." However, over 100 US citizens and thousands of Afghan allies have been left behind, according to reports. The timeline for their evacuation remains unclear. Further, the US pullout was marked by chaos, including a terror attack that claimed the lives of nearly 200 people, including 13 US soldiers.
Criticism: Biden faces heavy criticism for his handling of evacuation
Biden has been under immense criticism, from the Republicans and some members from his own party, over his handling of the Afghanistan exit. He, however, has contended the evacuation would have been difficult, irrespective of when it was carried out. He has also shifted blame to the US-backed Afghanistan government and the Afghan security forces, both of which collapsed sooner than expected.
Other updates: UN commits to aid; India holds meeting with Taliban
In other news, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed concern over a deepening humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan. He said Afghans need the support of the international community "now, more than ever." Separately, Indian envoy to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met with the Taliban's Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai in Doha, the first such meeting between the two sides after Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan.
The news article, 'Best decision': Joe Biden defends US withdrawal from Afghanistan appeared first on NewsBytes.
Also see: Afghanistan: Biden says he's sticking to August 31 withdrawal deadline
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