President Biden to pull US troops from Afghanistan by Sept 11: Sources

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – United States President Joe Biden will withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by Sept 11, sources familiar with the decision told Reuters.

However, the withdrawal would be based on certain security and human rights guarantees, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the formalisation of the decision.

The sources did not provide further details.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin are expected to brief the decision to Nato allies in Brussels on Wednesday (April 14).

Mr Biden may also publicly announce his decision, the sources said.

Mr Biden’s decision, should it be confirmed, would miss a May 1 deadline for withdrawal agreed with Taleban insurgents by his predecessor Donald Trump’s administration.

In a statement last month, the Taleban threatened to resume hostilities against foreign troops in Afghanistan if they did not meet the May 1 deadline.

But it would still set a near-term date with withdrawal, potentially allaying Taleban concerns that Mr Biden would drag out the process.

The May 1 deadline had already started to appear less and less likely in recent weeks, given the lack of preparations on the ground to ensure it could be done in a safe and responsible way.

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US officials have also blamed the Taleban for failing to live up to commitments to reduce violence and some have warned about persistent Taleban links to Al-Qaeda.

It was those ties that triggered US military intervention in 2001 following Al-Qaeda’s Sept 11 attacks on New York and Washington because the Taleban had harboured Al-Qaeda leaders. Thousands of American and allied troops have died in fighting in Afghanistan.

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