Seek Security Guarantee, Afghan President Meets Joe Biden in Washington

President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss the withdrawal of all US troops. Biden is said to have promised economic and humanitarian aid.

UMMATIMES - US President Joe Biden will meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani this weekend. The meeting of the two heads of state will take place amid a wave of violence ahead of the withdrawal of all international troops from Afghan territory.

Afghan and Taliban troops have clashed repeatedly across the country as US and NATO troops prepare to return to their respective countries on September 11, 2021. The gradual withdrawal of troops has begun since last month.

Biden's meeting with Ghani on Friday will be their first face-to-face meeting since the former senator took office as US president in January.

Since the US announced the planned troop withdrawal, the Taliban have controlled at least 30 districts in Afghanistan.

What else is Biden up to?

The United States offers refuge to Afghans who have worked for NATO for the past two decades, amid fears that the Taliban may retaliate against them and their families.

In early June, 20 members of Congress asked President Joe Biden in an open letter to "immediately" evacuate the more than 18,000 translators and their families, who had applied for United States visas.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, speaking to broadcaster ABC News on Sunday (20/06), said the request by dozens of members of Congress was the "highest priority" for the White House and visa applications were being expedited.

"We're processing this application. We're working with Congress right now ... to really streamline some of the requirements that are slowing this process down," he said.

At the same time, Sullivan played down the issue of President Biden changing his mind about withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. "There are no plans to change the basic draft that the president set out, which is that all American troops will leave, and they will leave well before the deadline set out in his April 16 speech," he said.

How will the Taliban react?

The Taliban opposed the visit of Ghani, who will travel with the chairman of the Supreme Council for Afghanistan National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah to the US, calling it a "useless act."

"They will talk to US officials to defend their power and personal interests," said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

"It will not benefit Afghanistan," he added.

There was no immediate response from the Afghan government, but senior officials told Reuters news agency they would seek security guarantees from the United States.

What about peace talks?

Peace negotiations between the government and the Taliban in Qatar remain deadlocked. The Taliban said Sunday they were committed to peace talks, but insisted they wanted a "genuine Islamic system" in Afghanistan.

In May, US intelligence analysts said that the Taliban "would back away a lot" from the progress it had made in Afghanistan on women's rights if the group regained national power.