|Taliban Fighters at Kabul Airport (nytimes.com)|
On August 15th, the Islamist group, the Taliban seized the presidential palace in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem declared the “War is over.” The war started in 2001 when the United States (US) invaded Afghanistan as the Taliban, which then governed most of Afghanistan, had refused to hand over Al Qaeda leaders after the September 11 attacks. The US announced its mission of building a nation that is free of terrorism. However, in the middle of April, President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of all American troops by August 31st, pointing out that the nearly 20 years of war could not transform Afghanistan into a modern, stable democracy. According to the Foreign Policy, Taliban leaders will rule Afghanistan through a 12-man council, which will include some pliant members of the former US-supported government and a few anti-Taliban figures as “they strive to form an administration that is acceptable to the international community.” However, the Taliban continued to show contradicting behavior such as cracking down on protests and beating civilians. On August 23rd, G7 (Group of Seven) leaders held a virtual emergency meeting to discuss the crisis. After the meeting, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, said that they have agreed “a road map for the way in which we’re going to engage with the Taliban”. Still, he did not specify taking the ongoing evacuation into account.
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