Filed Under: International

Taliban draws line in the sand, unlikely to extend evacuation deadline

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The Taliban pushed back against the idea of extending President Joe Biden’s deadline to pull out of Afghanistan Tuesday, just hours before President Biden decided to not extend the deadline.

A spokesman with the Taliban discussed the idea at a news conference.

“I must remind you that the withdrawal of the Americans by 31st is also one-sided act and contrary to our agreement,” Zabihullah Mujahid said. “We are sending a message to the Americans again to evacuate their citizens by this [date] because they have the means to do so, they have planes and the airport is with them and they have to transfer all the forces and contractors who have relation with foreigners.”

Mujahid also talked about Afghans fleeing the country. “We are not in favor of allowing Afghans to leave, won’t allow them, and after that we will not allow [Americans] to be here and we will take a serious position, God willing.”

The comments at the news conference came as CIA Director William Burns met with top Taliban official Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. The details of their meeting were not released. The meeting is significant because for the last two decades the Taliban has been a target of the CIA.

Meanwhile, the group of seven world leaders met virtually for less than an hour Tuesday with British Prime Minister hosting the meeting. Some of the G7 nations used the meeting to pressure Biden into extending the deadline. These include Britain, France and Germany.

Biden addressed the leaders for several minutes near the start of the meeting according to the White House. He is expected to deliver public remarks on Afghanistan later in the day.

Ahead of the meeting, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said he was doubtful Biden would agree to extend the deadline. “I wish we had more time. I think at the moment it is unlikely,” Wallace told BBC News. “We have to plan on 31 August being the last moment. Every day we get after that would be a big bonus.”

 

Gwen Baumgardner: THE TALIBAN IS DRAWING A LINE IN THE SAND.
IN A NEWS CONFERENCE TUESDAY, A TALIBAN SPOKESPERSON SAID THE U-S
NEEDS TO BE OUT OF AFGHANISTAN BY THE END OF THE MONTH.
QUESTIONS ARE SWIRLING ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THE AUGUST 31ST
DEADLINE IS ENOUGH TIME TO GET AMERICANS, AFGHAN ALLIES, AND THE 58-
HUNDRED TROOPS — OUT OF AGHANISTAN.
THE MESSAGE FROM THE TALIBAN — IT BETTER BE.
Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban Spokesman: “The extension was unilateral, by the side of the United States. It was a violation of the agreement. We want them to evacuate all foreign nationals by 31st August and we are not in favor of allowing Afghans to leave.”
Gwen Baumgardner: THE COMMENTS COME ON THE SAME DAY THE DIRECTOR OF THE C-I-A MET WITH THE TALIBAN’S TOP POLITICAL  LEADER IN KABUL.
THE MEETING — A HISTORIC ONE — AFTER THE C-I-A SPENT THE LAST TWO  DECADES TARGETING THE TALIBAN.
MEANWHILE LEADERS OF THE G-7 NATIONS MET VIRTUALLY TUESDAY — TO DISCUSS AIRLIFT OPERATIONS — WHICH ARE BECOMING MORE DESPERATE BY THE HOUR.
LEADERS WERE ALSO EXPECTED TO DISCUSS CHANGING THE DEADLINE FOR  WITHDRAWAL.

The Taliban pushed back against the idea of extending President Joe Biden’s deadline to pull out of Afghanistan Tuesday, just hours before President Biden decided to not extend the deadline.

A spokesman with the Taliban discussed the idea at a news conference.

“I must remind you that the withdrawal of the Americans by 31st is also one-sided act and contrary to our agreement,” Zabihullah Mujahid said. “We are sending a message to the Americans again to evacuate their citizens by this [date] because they have the means to do so, they have planes and the airport is with them and they have to transfer all the forces and contractors who have relation with foreigners.”

Mujahid also talked about Afghans fleeing the country. “We are not in favor of allowing Afghans to leave, won’t allow them, and after that we will not allow [Americans] to be here and we will take a serious position, God willing.”

The comments at the news conference came as CIA Director William Burns met with top Taliban official Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. The details of their meeting were not released. The meeting is significant because for the last two decades the Taliban has been a target of the CIA.

Meanwhile, the group of seven world leaders met virtually for less than an hour Tuesday with British Prime Minister hosting the meeting. Some of the G7 nations used the meeting to pressure Biden into extending the deadline. These include Britain, France and Germany.

Biden addressed the leaders for several minutes near the start of the meeting according to the White House. He is expected to deliver public remarks on Afghanistan later in the day.

Ahead of the meeting, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said he was doubtful Biden would agree to extend the deadline. “I wish we had more time. I think at the moment it is unlikely,” Wallace told BBC News. “We have to plan on 31 August being the last moment. Every day we get after that would be a big bonus.”

 

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