Taliban Tell Biden That Only United Countries Can Defeat 'Great Empires', After His Critical Remarks
13:27 GMT 21.01.2022 (Updated: 13:29 GMT 21.01.2022)
Former US President Donald Trump signed the Doha Peace Deal with the Taliban* in February 2020. As part of the pact, US-led western forces would withdraw from Afghanistan by 1 May. However, Trump has blasted his successor Joe Biden for having bungled the Doha deal by leaving billions of dollars of military equipment behind for the Taliban.
The Taliban regime in Afghanistan has objected to remarks made by US President Joe Biden
that the central Asian nation could never be united under one “single government”.
"Only united, rather than divided, nations cause the fall of invaders and great empires," the Taliban's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi said on Friday.
"After occupation ended, we witnessed how the IEA [Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan], with limited resources and in a short period, ensured overall security, established a central government, and united the Afghan nation," he added.
Biden made the remarks about Afghanistan on Thursday at a press conference held to mark his first anniversary in power
The Democrat was answering a question casting doubt on his government's “competence” over some decisions during the past 12 months, including ordering the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
“We had been spending a billion dollars a week in Afghanistan,” said Biden, trying to justify his troop withdrawal order in August last year.
He said that it was for a “solid reason” that Afghanistan has been called the “graveyard of empires”.
“[Afghanistan] is not susceptible to unity,” remarked Biden.
The US and global powers have consistently called upon the Taliban to form an inclusive government
with representations from all the major ethnic groups as well as women
However, these calls have been largely ignored by the Islamist group, which primarily consists of members of Afghanistan's predominant Pashtun tribe.
“So, the question was whether I should continue to spend that much money every week in Afghanistan, knowing that the only thing we'd get in return was more body bags back home … There was no way to leave Afghanistan so easily after 20 years … And I made no apologies for what I did,” Biden also said.
The US president also reckoned that had he not ordered the troop withdrawal when he did, Washington would have been asked to “put somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000 troops back in”.
Biden’s decision to pull out American troops has been widely criticised not only by his political opponents, but even by some of US’ global allies.
A survey of American war veterans by Brookings Institution has found that nearly 73 percent of them “feel betrayed” by Biden’s troop withdrawal decision, and 67 percent claimed that they “feel humiliated”.
Another survey in the wake of 15 August, when the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan, showed
that US’ standing among the public of other countries had also taken a hit over the way the troop withdrawal process had been executed.
27 August 2021, 16:38 GMT
Former US president Donald Trump
and several other Republicans have even asked Biden to “resign in disgrace” over the Afghan troop withdrawal, describing the event as an “absolute humiliation” for the US.
*Organisation being sanctioned by the UN for terrorist activities