The Taliban warned surrounding countries not to host U.S.-led operations after troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan, Reuters reported Wednesday.
President Joe Biden said American troops will be out of the region by Sept. 11, while experts speculate about potential locations for new military bases close to Afghanistan, according to Reuters. U.S. officials reportedly weighed moving operations to Tajikistan or Uzbekistan but haven’t made a final decision.
“If such a step is taken, then the responsibility for all the misfortunes and difficulties lies upon those who commit such mistakes,” the Taliban said in a statement, Reuters reported.
The President’s rushed Afghanistan retreat is dangerous wishful thinking. Where will we base counterterrorism forces? How will we secure our Embassy? Support allies? What about women’s rights? Refugee flows?
Many crucial questions. No answers and no plan from the Administration.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) May 25, 2021
Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with his Pakistani equivalent as part of recent talks between the country’s senior officials, according to Reuters. The Taliban maintain a large presence along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.
Speculation over an American base in Pakistan “was baseless and irresponsible,” a Pakistani foreign office spokesman said Monday, Reuters reported. The U.S. has uplifted Pakistan since officials helped bring members of the Taliban to negotiations despite others criticizing the country’s ties to the group.
Former President Donald Trump said U.S. troops would be out of Afghanistan by May, and violence between Afghan officials and the Taliban reportedly increased following Biden’s delay, according to Reuters.
Several members of the Taliban’s political office are reportedly at the Pakistani capital to participate in peace deal negotiations, including potential attendance at a conference in Turkey the group’s previously boycotted, Reuters reported.
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