Taliban says Joe Biden will 'provoke a reaction' if US troops stay
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The UK and US have been strong allies for hundreds of years, but now Boris Johnson has been left feeling livid at Joe Biden following his decision to withdraw US presence from Afghanistan. Mr Johnson is facing difficult conversations with Mr Biden this week as the Afghanistan crisis continues to see the UK Government face turmoil at home and abroad.
US President Joe Biden has continued to defend his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan despite the country’s rapid fall to the Taliban days later.
Critics around the globe have centred their frustrations on his management of the whole situation rather than specifically the withdrawal.
At a news conference, Mr Biden addressed these criticisms and said US adversaries in Moscow and Beijing would have been the only true victors had the US committed to more years of warfare in Afghanistan.
The US leader said: “I think history is going to record this was the logical, rational, and right decision to make.
“If you’re sitting in Beijing … if you’re sitting in Moscow, are you happy we left? C’mon.”
But Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a very specific reason to be livid at Mr Biden.
According to a leaked UK Government memo seen by Bloomberg, Mr Biden promised Mr Johnson and other G7 leaders in June the US would maintain enough of a security presence in the country to keep Kabul safe.
The memo indicates the UK PM felt he had enough assurances of US military presence from Mr Biden to ensure the UK would be able to maintain its embassy in Kabul.
However, this did not turn out to be the case prompting outrage from Mr Johnson.
The document said the US was talking to allies about how the Taliban would “test the Afghan government militarily” before any peace talks could be made for President Ashraf Ghani to stay in charge, according to Bloomberg.
The memo was created after allies discussed keeping a civilian presence in Afghanistan after the withdrawal.
A warning was issued from the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, to Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggesting the Taliban could wield power in the wake of the withdrawal.
This was proven to be a fair warning as the Taliban took over the country in a matter of days after the US troops began to withdraw.
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The UK and other G7 nations have been left feeling Mr Biden failed to uphold his promises and commitment.
Instead, the US leader appears to have pulled the rug out from under his allies.
Now countries around the world including the UK, US and EU nations are working to evacuate citizens from the area.
This task has been made more difficult as the Taliban is surrounding the only airport out of the country and hopeful evacuees have clashed with the group, leading to deaths in many cases.
Mr Johnson is also likely to be enraged by Mr Biden’s actions as his decision appears to have enabled ISIS terrorists to grow their influence in the country.
Mr Biden admitted there is a threat of ISIS attacks on people trying to get to the airport.
A Government insider told The Times: “We know they would love to get a suicide bomb into the crowd and take out some Brits or Americans.
“There is a serious threat of an ISIS suicide bomber.
“The soldiers are having to keep their fingers on the trigger in one hand while holding a baby in the other. It’s very fragile.”
The UK Prime Minister will however be forced to keep his emotions in check at the upcoming emergency G7 summit on Tuesday.
Mr Johnson intends to use the summit to appeal to Mr Biden to delay the August 31 deadline in a bid to tackle the chaos and mayhem at Kabul airport and ensure more people can be safely evacuated.
Ahead of the summit, Mr Biden signalled he could be willing to bow to demands for an extension.
The US leader revealed discussions were already under way and said he would tell the G7: “We will see what we can do.”
Mr Johnson has already heaped pressure on Mr Biden after he called on him to prevent a humanitarian crisis.
He tweeted: “It is vital that the international community works together to ensure safe evacuations, prevent a humanitarian crisis and support the Afghan people to secure the gains of the last 20 years.”
In case no delay in the deadline is granted, Britain is due to step up the mass evacuation of British and Afghan citizens from Afghanistan this week in plans to fly a further 6,000 people from the chaos in Kabul, according to The Times.
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