“No, I do not trust the Taliban,” the president. “It’s a silly question.”
But Mr. Biden, who huddled with military advisers over the situation in Afghanistan Thursday before his public remarks, said he trusts “the capacity of the Afghan military” to keep key areas of the country from falling to Taliban fighters, who have made major gains in recent weeks as the U.S. and NATO withdraw.
In the agreement it struck with former President Trump last year, the Taliban vowed to reduce violent attacks across the country, cut ties with terrorist groups such as al Qaeda, and hold direct talks with the official Afghan government in the hopes of striking a power-sharing arrangement. But the Taliban’s campaign across Afghanistan has grown more violent over the past year, and Pentagon and U.N assessments have found strong links still exist between the insurgent group and al Qaeda.
The Taliban has held direct negotiations with the Afghan government, but those talks have not resulted in any sort of peace deal or permanent cease-fire.
“No, no, no,” the president said. “It’s up to the people of Afghanistan to decide what government they want, not us to impose the government on them. No country has ever been able to do that.”
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