Biden plans to stick to deadline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan

Biden plans to stick to deadline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan

US officials told ABC that Biden decided to stick to the August 31 deadline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, despite pressure from European allies and calls to extend the evacuation time.

Nevertheless, the president said contingency plans would be made unforeseen circumstances that could force troops to delay beyond Aug. 31 to complete the evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies.

A Taliban spokesman said earlier that the US should complete the evacuation of people from Afghanistan by the originally chosen date. Zabihullah Mujahid said on Tuesday that his group would not accept «no extensions» of the deadline.

Mujahid added that he was «not aware» of any meetings between the Taliban and the CIA, but did not deny that such a meeting took place. Before that, according to one official, on Monday, the director of the American agency met with the top political leader of the Taliban in Kabul.

Previously, President Biden did not rule out the possibility of extending the deadline — saying he wants to evacuate all US citizens and at-risk Afghans seeking to leave the country.

The evacuation continues amid reports of Taliban harassment of US allies and former authorities, as well as mass executions. According to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, the reports are «credible.»

Other rights violations have also been reported, including restrictions on women and the recruitment of child soldiers, she told the UN Human Rights Council .