Biden says US mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to be nation building

16 August 2021 - 22:39 By Steve Holland and Nandita Bose
US President Joe Biden arrives to delivers remark on the crisis in Afghanistan in the East Room at the White House in Washington, US on August 16, 2021.
US President Joe Biden arrives to delivers remark on the crisis in Afghanistan in the East Room at the White House in Washington, US on August 16, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Leah Millis

President Joe Biden said on Monday the mission of the United States in Afghanistan was never supposed to be nation building as he defended his decision to pull out US troops from the country.

Thousands of civilians desperate to flee Afghanistan thronged Kabul airport's single runway on Monday after the Taliban seized the capital, prompting the United States to suspend evacuations as it came under mounting criticism at home.

LISTEN | South Africans in Afghanistan describe the chaos as the Taliban take the capital

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Taliban insurgents entered the Afghanistan capital Kabul on Sunday as the US evacuated diplomats from its embassy by helicopter.

An interior ministry official told Reuters the Taliban were coming in “from all sides” but gave no further details.

A tweet from the Afghan Presidential palace account said firing had been heard at a number of points around Kabul but that security forces, in co-ordination with international partners, had control of the city.

US officials said the diplomats were being ferried to the airport from the embassy in the fortified Wazir Akbar Khan district. More American troops were being sent to help in the evacuations after the Taliban's lightning advances brought the Islamist group to Kabul in a matter of days.

Reuters


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