Thu, 23 Sep 2021

Washington DC [US], July 24 (ANI): US President Joe Biden and his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani agreed that the Taliban's current offensive is in direct contradiction to the group's claim to support a negotiated settlement of the conflict, the White House said on Friday.

"President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan. President Biden and President Ghani discussed the situation in Afghanistan and reaffirmed their commitment to an enduring bilateral partnership," the White House said.

Biden emphasised continued US support, including development and humanitarian aid, for the Afghan people, including women, girls, and minorities, the statement said.

"President Biden and President Ghani agreed that the Taliban's current offensive is in direct contradiction to the movement's claim to support a negotiated settlement of the conflict. President Biden also reaffirmed the United States' commitment to continue supporting the Afghan security forces to defend themselves," the statement added.

This comes amid a massive increase in violence throughout Afghanistan. Earlier this week, a top US general said that the "end game" in the war-torn country is yet to be written.

"There is clearly a narrative out there that Taliban are winning. In fact, they are propagating inevitable victory on their behalf. As of today, more or less, I guess it is about 212, 213, it is in that range. The district centres are in Taliban control, it is about half of the 419 that are out there," said US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, during a presser on Thursday.

Milley pointed the Taliban have seized a significant amount of territory over the last six months, however, they have not taken over any of the provincial capitals.

The US military in the past few days conducted airstrikes in Afghanistan to support Afghan security forces, the Pentagon confirmed on Thursday. At an off-camera press briefing, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said that "in the last several days, we have acted, through airstrikes, to support the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces."Earlier, the Biden administration had said that US military pullback from Afghanistan will conclude by August 31. US Central Command said last week over 95 per cent of the withdrawal had been completed. (ANI)

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