Biden sends envoy in urgent effort to stop Taliban offensive in Afghanistan

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Biden sends envoy in urgent effort to stop Taliban offensive in Afghanistan
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Biden sends envoy in urgent effort to stop Taliban offensive in Afghanistan
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President Joe Biden’s envoy for Afghanistan will meet with the Taliban’s political leadership this week to urge them “to stop their military offensive and to negotiate a political settlement,” the State Department announced.

But as the militant group seized a seventh provincial capital Tuesday, Biden’s administration is making clear that it will not halt the U.S. military withdrawal, even as nearly daily American airstrikes are one of the last things keeping more cities from falling into Taliban hands.

Instead, U.S. officials have been calling on Afghan security forces to step up and “to use those advantages” and “to exert that leadership,” as Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said, that two decades of American training and investment were supposed to have brought to bear.

“We will certainly support from the air where and when feasible, but that’s no substitute for leadership on the ground. It’s no substitute for political leadership in Kabul. It’s no substitute for using the capabilities and capacity that we know they have,” Kirby told reporters Monday.

Instead, with the U.S. withdrawal scheduled to finish in just three weeks, the administration is putting diplomatic efforts to end the Taliban offensive front and center. U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is in Doha, Qatar, where the Taliban leadership is based and where peace negotiations between them and the Afghan government of President Ashraf Ghani began last September.

You can read the rest of ‘s article at ABCnews.com

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