Biden-Ghani phone call - Taliban's offensive contradicts their claim to support negotiated settlement | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

25 September, Saturday

Biden-Ghani phone call - Taliban's offensive contradicts their claim to support negotiated settlement

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The two leaders also deplored the loss of innocent Afghan lives, including through targeted killings, as well as the displacement of the civilian population and destruction of infrastructure. Violence has intensified in Afghanistan since foreign forces began to withdraw from the country, Eurasia Diary reports citing Sputnik.

US President Joe Biden and Afghan leader Ashraf Ghani held a telephone conversation on Friday to discuss the Taliban* offensive.

"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", the White House said in a readout.

"They deplored the loss of innocent Afghan lives, including through continued targeted killings, as well as displacement of the civilian population, looting and burning of buildings, destruction of vital infrastructure, and damage to communication networks", it continues.

The Biden administration also submitted a 2022 budget request of $3.3 billion to Congress for the Afghan Security Forces Fund, according to the readout

.This comes as Biden on Friday announced that up to $100 million will be allocated for unexpected and urgent refugee needs among Afghan victims of the conflict, including Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants to reside in the United States.Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley said on Wednesday that about half of the 419 district centres in Afghanistan are under Taliban control, but they have not taken over any of the 34 provincial capitals in the country. 

On 25 June, Biden and Ghani met at the White House, where the US president urged a stop to what he called the senseless violence in Afghanistan, but acknowledged that achieving that goal would be difficult.

The two leaders' phone call took place amid an offensive by the Taliban to capture new positions in Afghanistan following the start of the US and NATO troops' withdrawal from the country as part of the US-Taliban agreement signed in Doha in February 2020. 

On Thursday, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid told Sputnik the radical movement had established 90% control over Afghanistan's border, including with such neighbouring countries as Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran.

 

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