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Biden keeps August 31 as the deadline to evacuate Afghanistan amid mounting pressure from the Taliban

Taliban fighters patrol in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. The Taliban declared an "amnesty" across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government Tuesday, seeking to convince a wary population that they have changed a day after deadly chaos gripped the main airport as desperate crowds tried to flee the country. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
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After learning of the meeting of the CIA director with a Taliban leader, the fundamentalists forbid Afghans from going to the airport and ask women to stay at home until a system that integrates them is established.

President Joe Biden has decided not to extend his August 31 deadline to complete the evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies from Afghanistan, a government official announced Tuesday as quoted by the news agency The Associated Press.

The decision was made a day after CIA director William J. Burns held a hitherto secret meeting in Kabul with a Taliban leader, Abdul Ghani Baradar, various US media reported on Tuesday.

Biden finally chose to complete the US mission in Afghanistan next Tuesday, a deadline he set long before the Taliban seized power on August 15, after consulting with his National Security team and assessing the risks of keeping forces on the ground. beyond the deadline.

The president asked his National Security team to create contingency plans in case a situation arises that makes it necessary to slightly extend the planned period, according to the member of the Government.

The United States intensified the air transport of evacuees from Afghanistan in the last 24 hours, reaching its highest level. Biden had considered lengthening the self-imposed deadline, taking into account continued security threats from extremist groups in the Afghan capital, Taliban resistance to an extension, and the prospect that not all Americans and Afghan allies at risk can be evacuated between now and next Tuesday.

Despite the decision, America’s European allies, as well as American lawmakers, veterans groups, and refugee organizations continue to urge Biden to continue evacuations for as long as necessary to remove all foreign, allied Afghans and other civilians most at risk by remaining in a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

But Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid assured Tuesday at a press conference in Kabul that his organization will not accept “any extension” of the deadline and pointed out that “Afghans are not allowed to go there [the airport] now.” However, “foreigners are allowed to go.”

On the other hand, he asked the women “for the moment” to stay home due to the inability of members of the extremist group to deal with them.

“Our security forces are not trained to deal with women, nor to talk to them. That is why we try to detain women for the time being, until we have complete security,” he said.

“When we have a proper system and procedure … their wages will resume. They will be able to go back to work when we have a system in place,” she said.

Faced with the “red line” drawn by the Taliban, the Pentagon said Tuesday that the US military will need “at least several days” to fully withdraw its several thousand troops and their equipment from Kabul.

His spokesman, John Kirby, stressed that the commanders continue to aspire to leave before August 31 and reiterated that there is enough time to remove all Americans, but was less specific in terms of completing the evacuation of all Afghans at risk.

“We think we have the ability to get it done by the end of the month,” he said, referring to the unknown number of US citizens who want to leave.

About 21,600 people have already been evacuated from Afghanistan, Pentagon Kirby said.

Allies of the United States and other countries are also carrying out evacuations, but they will have to end their operations and leave Afghanistan before US troops do.

Precisely, Biden’s decision to leave the country on August 31 worries the United States’ partners in the G-7, made up of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, according to what they said at a summit. virtual meeting held on Tuesday to analyze the situation in Afghanistan.

The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, told the press that the bloc countries raised “the need to secure the airport, for the time necessary, to complete evacuation operations.” They also demanded “fair and equitable access to the airport, for all nationals with the right to evacuation.”

“The British position is that we want to stay longer if possible,” his Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said before the summit. However, he admitted that the 1,000 British soldiers stationed at Kabul airport will not be able to continue the operation when the much larger American contingent departs.

From Telemundo.

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