Afghan Taliban say US President Biden has ‘accepted reality’ about al-Qaeda – Times of India

Kabul: Afghanistan’s Taliban government on Saturday seized on an unexpected comment from the US President Joe Biden to underline their claim that it was not al-Qaeda threat in country.
Biden was leaving a press conference Friday on the US Supreme Court’s decision to block his student loan relief program when a reporter asked if he acknowledged mistakes made during his return from Afghanistan in 2021.
According to the White House transcript, he replied, “No, no. All the evidence is coming back.”
“Do you remember what I said about Afghanistan? I said al Qaeda wouldn’t be there. I said it wouldn’t be there. I said we’d get help from the Taliban. What’s happening now? What’s up? Read your press. I’m right.”
That question was raised by a report released on Friday that said US officials were hampered during a large-scale withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 by a lack of clear decision-making, the absence of centralized crisis management and confusing public messaging. .
A so-called after-action review was ordered by Secretary of State Antony Blinken after an outcry over the chaotic scenes in Kabul taliban fighters Seized control following the end of a 20-year US military presence.
On Saturday, the Afghan foreign ministry seized on Biden’s remarks.
“We consider the comments of US President Joe Biden “The absence of armed groups in Afghanistan can be seen as an acknowledgment of reality,” the ministry said in a statement.
“This contradicts a recent report by the UN Sanctions Monitoring Team alleging the presence and operations of more than twenty armed groups in Afghanistan.”
In May, a UN report stated that there are signs that armed groups such as al-Qaeda are rebuilding in the country.
“The relationship between the Taliban and al Qaeda And the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) remains strong and symbiotic.”
“Many terrorist groups have more freedom of maneuver under de facto Taliban authorities. They are making good use of it, and the threat of terrorism is growing both in Afghanistan and the region.”
Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers insist they do not allow the country’s soil to be used by armed groups plotting against other countries and deny the existence of al-Qaeda.
He has not acknowledged the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a US drone strike in central Kabul last year and said the investigation into the incident was ongoing.