Afghanistan: Biden says Afghans must decide their own future

US President Joe Biden has stated that Afghans “are going to have to decide their future” during a visit by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to the White House.

Mr Biden pledged continued support for the country, although US and Nato troops are set to finalize their withdrawal on 11 September.

This comes as hardline Taliban fighters have abducted dozens of districts in a recent offensive.

Earlier this week, the UN conveyed panic at their gains.

The meeting came the day after the US declared plans to withdraw thousands of Afghans who worked for the US military ahead of the withdrawal. Many fear retaliation from the Taliban.

Recently, US and Nato officials have said that the Taliban have so far failed to live up to commitments to reduce violence in Afghanistan.

Speaking in the Oval Office on Friday, Mr Biden said the partnership between the US and Afghanistan would prevail.

“Our troops may be leaving, but support for Afghanistan is not ending,” he said.

But he stressed that it was up to Afghans to decide “what they want”, adding: “The senseless violence, it has to stop. It’s going to be very difficult.”

Meanwhile, Mr Ghani said that he endorsed Joe Biden’s “historic” decision to withdraw US troops, saying he was there to “respect it and support it”.

He further declared that Afghan security forces had recaptured six districts, reversing some recent Taliban gains.

“You will see that with determination, with unity and with the partnership, we will overcome all odds,” he said.

The Afghan president – accompanied by Abdullah Abdullah, government chief executive – met members of Congress, the CIA and the US defence secretary on his two-day trip to the US capital.

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