The United States reiterated on Wednesday that it does not see Ashraf Ghani as a player in Afghanistan after the deposed president vowed to return.
“He is no longer a figure in Afghanistan,” Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told reporters when she declined to comment on the United Arab Emirates’ decision to grant him asylum.
Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday that he supported talks between the Taliban and former top officials, and denied allegations that he sent large sums of money out of the country before fleeing to the United Arab Emirates.
Ghani — who appeared for the first time since leaving Kabul on Sunday when the Taliban surrounded the capital, a departure that ultimately resulted in their full takeover — reiterated that he had left to save the country from more bloodshed.
He said in the recorded video message broadcast on his Facebook page that he had no intention of remaining in exile in the Gulf state and was “in talks” to return home.
He also said he was making an effort to “protect the Afghans’ rule over our country”, without giving details.
Here are the LIVE updates on the Afghanistan-Taliban crisis:
The Taliban have halted all imports and exports to India after entering Kabul and taking over the country on Sunday. dr. Ajay Sahai, Director General (DG) of the Federation of Indian Export Organization (FIEO), said the Taliban has currently halted the transportation of cargo through Pakistan’s transit routes, halting imports from the country.
Family of a 44-year-old man from the Mancherial district of Telangana, who was stranded in Kabul after the Taliban takeover, has asked the Indian government to take him home.
The man named Bommana Rajanna is waiting for a safe return to his homeland.
Rajanna, daughter of Bommana Rajanna, said his father went to Kabul on August 7 and would return on August 18.
However, she said her father has informed the family that he is safe from now on.
“My father went there on August 7 and was due to return on August 18. But when the flights were cancelled, my father got stuck there and is currently waiting for an evacuation plan from the Indian government. We request the Indian government to return him safely ‘, she said.
President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that US troops will not leave Americans in Afghanistan, even if it means staying longer than agreed in Taliban-controlled Kabul.
In his first interview since the Taliban took over the Afghan capital, sparking a panicked exodus of foreigners and Afghan allies, Biden told ABC News that “chaos” was inevitable.
US leaders have said they are meeting an August 31 deadline to remove the last of troops and hand the country over to the victorious Taliban.
Biden, however, said for the first time that American soldiers could stay longer if Americans still tried to flee. “If there are any American citizens left, we will continue to get them all out,” Biden said.
The United States said on Wednesday it shared the same goals in Afghanistan as frequent adversaries China and Russia, who have quickly started working with the triumphant Taliban.
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman pointed to a statement issued Monday by the UN Security Council, where China and Russia exercise veto power, calling for an inclusive new government.
The statement “speaks that we are all in the same place, calling on the Taliban to ensure justice, equal rights and inclusion, that there is no violence, that people can leave whenever they can.” Sherman told reporters.
“So I think there’s a very strong unanimity right now,” said Sherman, who last month became the most senior member of President Joe Biden’s administration to travel to China.
Both Russia and China intensified contacts with the Taliban after the United States decided to withdraw from Afghanistan, ending a 20-year military engagement and the rapid crumbling of the government in Kabul.