President Biden announced that “the U.S. will begin our final withdrawal” from Afghanistan on 1 May, and that “U.S. troops, as well as forces deployed by our NATO allies and operational partners, will be out of Afghanistan” by 11 September. Underscoring that “we will not conduct a hasty rush to the exit”, Biden warned the Taliban “that if they attack us as we draw down, we will defend ourselves and our partners with all the tools at our disposal”. He went on to assert that “we’ll not take our eye off the terrorist threat. We’ll reorganise our counterterrorism capabilities and the substantial assets in the region to prevent reemergence… of the threat to our homeland from over the horizon. We’ll hold the Taliban accountable for its commitment not to allow any terrorists to threaten the U.S. or its allies from Afghan soil”. The same day, President Biden spoke with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to emphasise that “the U.S. will continue to support the Afghan people, including through continued development, humanitarian and security assistance”. Accosting to a U.S. readout, both leaders reiterated “their shared conviction that every effort should be made to achieve a political settlement”.
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