Taliban has not changed, says Biden as evacuations continue – US politics live

Posted by on August 19, 2021 9:39 am
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2.39pm BST

Joe Biden delaying the exit of American forces from Afghanistan by just a month could have made a significant difference to the outcome of continuing peace talks with the Taliban leadership, according to one of the negotiators.

Fawzia Koofi, an Afghan politician and women’s rights activist, said the chaotic withdrawal undermined all leverage that the US and the Afghan government had had with the Taliban at the talks in Qatar.

Related: Delaying US exit a month could have meant peace in Afghanistan, says negotiator

2.39pm BST

The Guardian’s Hannah Ellis-Petersen and agencies report:

Joe Biden has said US troops may stay past a 31 August deadline so as to evacuate all Americans from Afghanistan, and defended the withdrawal, saying there was no way for the US to pull out “without chaos ensuing”.

EXCLUSIVE: Asked about July comment that a Taliban takeover was “highly unlikely,” Pres. @JoeBiden tells @GStephanopoulos, “there was no consensus” in the intelligence. “They said it was more likely to be by the end of the year.” https://t.co/NmBEmVRw8M pic.twitter.com/LSXSC51ox8

Related: Biden says US troops may stay in Afghanistan beyond 31 August deadline

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