US President Joe Biden said Wednesday that "the time has come to end the longest war fought by the United States" in his speech on the withdrawal of his country's forces from Afghanistan, scheduled for May 1, but "it will not leave hastily," according to the White House master. Biden said it was useless to wait for "the ideal conditions for withdrawal." </p><div> <p>"The time has come to end the longest war the United States has fought," declared US President Joe Biden <strong><a target="_blank" href="https://www.france24.com/ar/آسيا/20210414-الولايات-المتحدة-تعد-بسحب-قواتها-من-أفغانستان-بحلول-11-سبتمبر-من-دون-شروط" rel="noopener">He withdrew all his country's forces</a></strong> From Afghanistan by the twentieth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks that led to the US intervention.
“The time has come to put an end to this never-ending war,” Biden said in an official speech at the White House. He stressed that he is “the fourth American president who manages the American military presence in Afghanistan,” promising not to “transfer this responsibility to a fifth president,” considering that there is no point in waiting for “ideal conditions for withdrawal.” “The United States will begin its final withdrawal on May 1,” he added, but “it will not leave in a hurry.”
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced that he “respects” this decision after consulting with his American counterpart over the phone. He stressed on Twitter that the Afghan security forces “are fully capable of defending their people and their country.”
Biden said in his speech: “We will continue to support the Afghan government, but we will not keep our military commitment in Afghanistan,” calling on other regional parties, especially Pakistan, to “make more” efforts to support its neighbor.
And NATO countries announced on Wednesday that they had decided to start withdrawing their forces operating as part of the coalition’s mission in Afghanistan by the first of May, to accomplish this “within a few months,” according to a statement published by the alliance.
The Taliban requires the withdrawal of foreign forces before participating in the Istanbul summit
The decision came as Turkey announced that it would host the international peace conference on Afghanistan in Istanbul from April 24 to May 4, with the attendance of representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban.
But the Taliban announced Tuesday that they will not participate in the summit unless all foreign forces leave Afghanistan.
“Until all foreign forces withdraw from our country, we will not participate in any conference during which decisions on Afghanistan may be taken,” a spokesman for the Taliban office in Qatar said in a tweet.
The Taliban movement had recently warned Washington of any exceeding the deadline of May 1, threatening to retaliate with force, while refraining from any attack against foreign forces since the agreement signed between the United States and the Taliban.
In order to end the longest war in American history, which led to the death of more than two thousand American soldiers, Washington during Trump’s term signed a historic agreement with the Taliban in February 2020 in Doha. The agreement stipulated the withdrawal of all American and foreign forces before May 1, on the condition that the rebels confront the activity of any terrorist organization in the areas they control.
Finally, the Pentagon questioned the Taliban’s commitment to this matter.
The agreement also stipulated that the Taliban should initiate direct peace negotiations with the Kabul government. However, these negotiations have stalled since they began in September and will be revived from April 24 in the framework of a conference in Istanbul, although the Taliban have not confirmed their participation yet.
At the height of the US military deployment, there were about 100,000 American soldiers in Afghanistan in 2010-2011. Former US President Barack Obama reduced its number to 8,400 men at the end of his second term, then former President Donald Trump sent reinforcements to 14,000 in 2017.
But he later pledged a phased withdrawal, and there are only 2,500 American troops left in Afghanistan.
On the other hand, violence continues on the ground between the Taliban and Afghan forces.
The United States intervened in Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York and the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense. It quickly toppled the Taliban regime, which was accused of harboring the jihadist organization Al Qaeda responsible for the attacks and its late leader, Osama bin Laden.
France 24 / AFP