Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that foreign forces were leaving Afghanistan in 'total disgrace and disaster'.
Karzai's remarks came in an interview with a foreign publication on Sunday (June 20) during which he said the US forces came to Afghanistan to fight extremism and bring stability, but are leaving nearly 20 years later having failed at both.
“The international community came here 20 years ago with this clear objective of fighting extremism and bringing stability ... but extremism is at the highest point today. So, they have failed,” he said.
Their legacy is a war-ravaged nation in “total disgrace and disaster,” he said.
“We recognize as Afghans all our failures, but what about the bigger forces and powers who came here for exactly that purpose? Where are they leaving us now?” he asked and added: “In total disgrace and disaster.”
Karzai's statement comes as the fighting has increased across Afghanistan in the past two months. On April 14, US President Joe Biden had announced that the American troops would leave Afghanistan by September 11.
“We will be better off without their military presence,” Karzai added. “I think we should defend our own country and look after our own lives. ... Their presence (has given us) what we have now. ... We don’t want to continue with this misery and indignity that we are facing. It is better for Afghanistan that they leave.”
Afghan leaders to meet Biden
The White House announced on June 20 that President Ashraf Ghani and Chairman Abdullah Abdullah would visit the United States on Friday, June 25.
“President Biden looks forward to welcoming Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, to the White House on June 25, 2021,” the White House said in a statement.
The visit would highlight the enduring partnership between the United States and Afghanistan as the military drawdown continues, the White House added.
"The United States is committed to supporting the Afghan people by providing diplomatic, economic, and humanitarian assistance to support the Afghan people, including Afghan women, girls and minorities," the statement said.
The statement further added that the United States will remain "deeply engaged" with the government of Afghanistan to ensure the country never again becomes a "safe haven for terrorist groups who pose a threat to the US homeland."
"The US continues to "fully support the ongoing peace process and encourages all Afghan parties to participate meaningfully in negotiations to bring an end to the conflict," the White House durther added.
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