White House says Biden to meet Afghanistan's Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – United States President Joe Biden will meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Dr Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, at the White House on June 25, the White House said on Sunday (June 20).

The meeting comes at a critical time when fighting between Afghan security forces and Taleban militants has surged, since Mr Biden announced in April that all US troops in Afghanistan would be withdrawn before Sept 11, ending America’s longest war after nearly 20 years of conflict.

“The visit by President Ghani and Dr Abdullah will highlight the enduring partnership between the United States and Afghanistan as the military drawdown continues,” the White House said in a statement.

It added that Washington was committed to supporting the Afghan people by providing diplomatic, economic and humanitarian assistance.

“The United States will remain deeply engaged with the government of Afghanistan to ensure the country never again becomes a safe haven for terrorist groups who pose a threat to the US homeland,” it said.

However, the Taleban has staged a months-long campaign to expand its influence across the country as the US has begun withdrawing troops and closed some bases and handed them over to the Afghan government. The troop withdrawal started on May 1.

Since the US announced plans in April to pull out all its troops, at least 30 districts have been seized by the Taleban.

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