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Biden begins WITHDRAWING troops from Afghanistan after G7 rejecting pleas to stay past August 31: Psaki says she 'expects' Taliban to let Americans and Afghans evacuees to get to Kabul airport

President Joe Biden will stick to his August 31 deadline to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan despite pressures from G7 leaders to extend it

  • President Joe Biden will stick to his August 31 deadline to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan despite pressure from G7 leaders to extend it 
  • The Taliban announced on Tuesday it will not extend the deadline and the evacuation must end as planned
  • 'We will not extend the deadline for the presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan,' Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Myjahid said. 'They are capable of evacuating their citizens and troops by August 31' 
  • Biden was due to deliver an update at midday, but the time came and went without word from the president
  • The White House finally said he would speak at 4.30pm after another turbulent day in Kabul 
  • Eventually officials issued a statement saying he would stick to Aug. 31, while asking for contingency plans in case troops had to stay
  • Comes after CIA Director William Burns went to Kabul for a meeting with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar
  • Likely discussed at the Monday meeting was the deadline for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan 
  • Former President Trump accused Biden of surrendering to terrorists and 'leaving Americans for dead'
  • Biden said he won't rule out military staying in Afghanistan past the deadline if needed to get Americans out 
  • Taliban leaders warned of 'consequences' if the U.S. doesn't keep to the timeline
    Biden met with G7 leaders on Tuesday morning to discuss Afghanistan

    Biden met with G7 leaders on Tuesday morning to discuss Afghanistan

    An aerial picture taken Monday shows crowds and traffic outside the Kabul airport as Americans and Afghan allies attempt to flee Afghanistan

    An aerial picture taken Monday shows crowds and traffic outside the Kabul airport as Americans and Afghan allies attempt to flee Afghanistan

    Satellite images from Monday show a massive crowd around a gate near a military checkpoint outside the Kabul airport

    Satellite images from Monday show a massive crowd around a gate near a military checkpoint outside the Kabul airport

    The Pentagon recommendation was made on Monday based on concerns about security risks to American forces, a senior administration official said. Biden had asked the Pentagon for contingency plans to stay longer should it be necessary, the official noted. 

    American officials told the Taliban that the U.S. withdrawal by Biden's Aug. 31 deadline is contingent on the group's cooperation in facilitating evacuations, the official said. 

    Former President Trump kept up his critical commentary claiming, without evidence, that terrorists were arriving on evacuation flights.

    'Biden surrendered Afghanistan to terrorists and left thousands of Americans for dead by pulling out the military before our citizens,' he said.

    'Now that out of the 26,000 people who have been evacuated, only 4,000 are Americans. 

    'You can be sure the Taliban, who are now in complete control, didn’t allow the best and brightest to board these evacuation flights.'

    Officials say they are doing their best to screen evacuees before they ever set foot inside the U.S. but the first step is getting people of Afghanistan. 

    Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said Tuesday the group will not extend the August 31 deadline for all U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan

    Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said Tuesday the group will not extend the August 31 deadline for all U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan

    White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday the United States would evacuate any American who wants out. 

    And the Pentagon said it was confident it had the planes and manpower to rescue thousands more Afghans who had fought alongside Americans or offered other critical services.

    But panic rippled around Kabul on Tuesday when the Taliban refused to extend the deadline and told Afghan citizens not to travel to the airport. 

    'The road to Kabul airport is closed for locals and open to foreigners,; said Mujahid.

    It suggested CIA chief Burns had failed in his mission to extend the timetable after flying into Kabul on Monday for a secret meeting with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar, according to The Washington Post

    Burns was dispatched to Afghanistan as the administration continues to grapple with a chaotic scene at the airport and struggles to evacuate Americans from Kabul.

    Baradar is now playing the role of the Taliban's counterpart to Burns 11 years after he was arrested in a joint CIA-Pakistani operation, which put him in prison for eight years. 

    The president joined G7 leaders on a virtual call Tuesday morning for an emergency meeting on Afghanistan amid intense pressure from NATO and world leaders for U.S. to stay and prevent a looming humanitarian disaster.   

    Washington pulled off its biggest haul of evacuations since the crisis started over the last 24 hours to early Tuesday morning, with 37 military jets evacuating 21,600 people from Kabul, the White House announced.

    But they still don't know the number of American citizens and Afghan allies stranded on the ground that need evacuating. 

    'Since August 14, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 58,700 people. Since the end of July, we have re-located approximately 63,900 people,' a White House official said.

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