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Afghanistan Crisis: Biden-Taliban talks not on the cards, US has 'no illusion about Taliban'

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 24 August 2021, 7:43 IST

US President Joe Biden is not considering speaking to the representatives of the Taliban's leadership, said National Security Adviser (NSA) Jake Sullivan on Monday and added that the US has "no illusion" about the terrorist group. "With respect to whether President Biden is likely to speak to the leadership of the Taliban, that is not in contemplation at this time," Sullivan said during a White House press briefing.

This comment comes a day after Biden said that the Taliban is seeking legitimacy and have made promises but Washington will see whether "they mean or not". "I don't trust anybody," he had said when asked whether he believes the Taliban or not. Amid the ongoing evacuation efforts in Afghanistan, Sullivan today said the US is in talks with the Taliban on a daily basis and they are "consulting with the Taliban on every aspect," including on the situation at Kabul airport.

Taliban pose a serious threat to US forces in Kabul
Despite ongoing talks with the Taliban, NSA added that US forces at the Kabul international airport continue to face a serious threat from the Islamic State terror group. The Joe Biden administration believes that the United States has time to get every American out of Afghanistan by the August 31 withdrawal deadline. "We believe that we have time between now and the (August) 31 to get any American out (of Afghanistan)," NSA Sullivan said. The United States will continue to evacuate at-risk Afghans out of Afghanistan after US troops leave the country by the August 31 deadline, he added.

Taliban can't be trusted, our focus now is evacuation: Sullivan

Answering a question on Biden's view of the Taliban, Sullivan said, "of course, he does not (trust Taliban), none of us do. Because we have seen the horrific images from the last time they were in power; because of the way in which they have conducted this war; because we have seen that the fact they are responsible for the death of American men and women for two decades of war." "We have no illusion about the Taliban. From our perspective, we need to focus on the task at hand. We need to get thousands and thousands of people out of this country (Afghanistan)," he added.  More than two dozen US military flights evacuated approximately 10,400 people from Kabul in the last 24 hours. In addition, 61 US coalition aircraft evacuated 5,900 more people.
(With ANI inputs)

First published: 24 August 2021, 7:43 IST