US defends withdrawal from Afghanistan
The US on Monday defended its position on withdrawal from Afghanistan after a 20-year-long military mission in the war-torn nation that ended nearly a year ago and also ruled out releasing USD 3.5 billion frozen Afghan funds to its central bank anytime soon.
Ned Price, spokesperson of the US Department of State in a briefing said, “Ending the longest war in American history was never going to be easy, but one year later we are in a stronger position as a country because of the President’s decision – better able to focus on the threats and challenges but also the opportunities of today.”
Many have considered the US withdrawal from Afghanistan to be a disaster after the country’s capital quickly fell to the Taliban despite US President Joe Biden’s reassurance, and thousands of American citizens and allies were left stranded or scrambling to safely get out of the country. Still, Price continued to claim the effort was a success in a press conference.
Price also said that Biden administration doesn’t see the Afghan central bank as a near-term option in terms of releasing – unfreezing Afghan funds and talked about Al-Qaida chief, Ayman al-Zawahri’s being sheltered by the Taliban as a key factor in reinforcing concerns about the possibility of funds going to terrorist groups.