Over 120,000 US, foreign citizens, Afghan nationals evacuated in last 17 days: Biden

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US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden

Washington DC [US], August 31 (ANI): US President Joe Biden on Monday (local time) said that over 120,000 US and foreign citizens, Afghan nationals have been evacuated in the last 17 days as 20-year US military presence in Afghanistan has ended.

"The past 17 days have seen our troops execute the largest airlift in US history, evacuating over 120,000 US citizens, citizens of our allies, and Afghan allies of the United States. They have done it with unmatched courage, professionalism, and resolve. Now, our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan has ended," Biden said in a statement.

Biden also said that he will address the American people on US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan on Tuesday.

"Tomorrow afternoon, I will address the American people on my decision not to extend our presence in Afghanistan beyond August 31," he said, adding that "for now, I will report that it was the unanimous recommendation of the Joint Chiefs and of all of our commanders on the ground to end our airlift mission as planned. Their view was that ending our military mission was the best way to protect the lives of our troops, and secure the prospects of civilian departures for those who want to leave Afghanistan in the weeks and months ahead."

The Pentagon on Monday announced that the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has been completed, after 20 years of US military operations.

"I announce the completion of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and the end of the military mission to evacuate American citizens and Afghans. The last C-17 lifted off from Hamid Karzai Airport on August 30 this afternoon at 3:29 pm (local time)," said US General Kenneth F. McKenzie.

"I have asked the Secretary of State to lead the continued coordination with our international partners to ensure safe passage for any Americans, Afghan partners, and foreign nationals who want to leave Afghanistan. This will include UNSC Resolution passed today," Biden said.

US President said that the Taliban have made commitments on safe passage and the world will hold them to their commitments.

"The Taliban has made commitments on safe passage and the world will hold them to their commitments. It will include ongoing diplomacy in Afghanistan and coordination with partners in the region to reopen the airport allowing for continued departure for those who want to leave and delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan," he added. (ANI)

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