Trust in the Taliban? “I do not trust anybody”. Joe Biden answers some questions about the situation in Afghanistan at a press conference at the White House and talks about the regime established a week ago in Kabul. “The Taliban – says the US president – are looking for legitimacy, they are trying to understand if they will be recognized by other countries. So far the Taliban have not taken action against American troops and have kept their promises. We will see if what they say will turn into reality” . Sanctions to the regime? “It depends on their behavior.”
The alternative at the end of the war was to send even more soldiers to Afghanistan. Biden defends the decision to withdraw the US military from the Afghan theater. “At the end of the day, if we hadn’t left Afghanistan now, when would we have left it? In a year? In ten? … I don’t want to send your children to fight” and the withdrawal was the “logical decision” .
The president explains that so far “about 11 thousand people have been evacuated, with civilian and military aircraft” and the commitment is to get American citizens out of Afghanistan “as soon as possible”. “Any American who wants to go home will go home,” he says.
The evacuation from Afghanistan is an “incredible, unprecedented operation, but evacuating thousands of people will be difficult and painful, there is no way to evacuate without pain and seeing those images on TV broke my heart,” says Biden. admitting that the situation is fluid and “something could also go wrong”.
The evacuation mission of the Kabul airport is “difficult and dangerous”, he stresses again, not hiding the risk that “the terrorists could take advantage” of the fact that US military and civilians are concentrated in the airport of the capital of Afghanistan. We must “avoid possible attacks by Isis”, warns Biden who at the same time stresses: “We know how the Taliban and Isis are historically enemies”.
The president thanks the allies. “I heard the leaders of various countries, such as Italy, Germany and Spain, who are making a great contribution and vital support” to the evacuation operations from Kabul. “I thank all our partners for working in such a united way” and he explains: “We will help” the evacuation from Afghanistan “of citizens of other countries”, “we will talk about it at the G7 on Tuesday”.
Biden does not dwell on the plan put in place to increase the security of the Kabul airport but admits: “We talked a lot with the Taliban: they collaborated in extending the perimeter” at the airport in the capital of Afghanistan.
At the White House, the president returns to the use of civilian flights for evacuation from Afghanistan. “No commercial flights will land in Kabul”, he clarifies, explaining that the military planes that take US citizens from Afghanistan do not fly directly to the United States, but go to the various bases around the world. From there, at a later time, they are boarded on flights to the US using “commercial fleets”. And it is in this phase that the carriers of the private companies come into play, which he thanks for “the help”.
A withdrawal deadline after August 31st? “We hope not, but it is something we are discussing,” Biden then replied to the question about the possible postponement of the dead line for the completion of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.