US mission accomplished in Afghanistan, troop withdrawal to begin May 1: Biden

US troops will begin their withdrawal from Afghanistan on May 1, President Joe Biden said Wednesday, adding that it was time to end America’s longest war.

“I have concluded that it’s time to end America’s longest war. It’s time for American troops to come home,” Biden said in a speech from the White House.

Biden said the US would not conduct a “hasty rush to the exit,” and that the US would hold the Taliban responsible for any future attacks on its troops or allies. The withdrawal will be conducted “responsibly, deliberately and safely,” Biden said.

He added: “We will hold the Taliban accountable for its commitment not to allow any terrorists to threaten the US or its allies from Afghan soil.”

The US president said he had coordinated the planned move with Afghani officials as well as US allies and partners, including NATO members.

The White House released a statement of Biden’s call with his Afghani counterpart Ashraf Ghani. “They discussed their continued commitment to a strong bilateral partnership following the departure of US troops from Afghanistan,” according to the statement.

Biden told Ghani that the US would continue to support the Afghan people, “including through continued development, humanitarian, and security assistance.”

NATO follows suit

“Recognizing that there is no military solution to the challenges Afghanistan faces, Allies have determined that we will start the withdrawal of Resolute Support Mission forces by May 1,” NATO later said.

“We plan to have the withdrawal of all US and Resolute Support Mission forces completed within a few months,” the statement read. “Any Taliban attacks on Allied troops during this withdrawal will be met with a forceful response.”

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