Biden defends Afghanistan withdrawal amid rising chaos

In a Facebook post, Ghani Ashraf said he had left the country to avoid clashes with the Taliban that would endanger millions of Kabul residents. Some social media users branded Ghani, who did not disclose his location, a coward for leaving them in chaos.

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

‘Failed experience’

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged all parties to exercise the utmost restraint and expressed particular concern about the future of women and girls.

In Washington, opponents of President Joe Biden’s decision to end America’s longest war, launched after the Sept 11, 2001, attacks, said the chaos was caused by a failure of leadership.

Biden has faced rising domestic criticism after sticking to a plan, initiated by his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, to end the U.S. military mission by Aug. 31.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell blamed Biden for what he called a “shameful failure of American leadership”.

“Terrorists and major competitors like China are watching the embarrassment of a superpower laid low,” McConnell said.

Naeem said the Taliban would adopt an international policy of two-way non-interference. “We do not think that foreign forces will repeat their failed experience.”

UAE says working to facilitate the evacuation of foreign diplomats

The United Arab Emirates foreign ministry on Sunday said it was working on facilitating the evacuation of foreign diplomatic staff from Afghanistan through airports in the Gulf Arab state.

That included diplomatic staff from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Egypt, Australia and the European Union it said in a statement.

The UAE is a major international air transit hub.

Emirates airline said a flight to Kabul was diverted due to the temporary closure of the runway at the airport, while fellow Dubai state-owned carrier Flydubai suspended services.

The Emirates Boeing 777-300 flight circled over the Afghanistan capital, aircraft tracking website FlightRadar24 showed, before returning to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

“We are monitoring developments around the situation in Afghanistan and are working closely with all the relevant authorities to ensure the safe operation of our services,” an Emirates spokesperson said.

Flydubai said earlier that a Boeing 737 service to Kabul on Sunday returned to Dubai mid-flight and that the airline had suspended its services to the city until further notice.