Biden discusses Afghanistan withdrawal with Merkel
President Biden on Wednesday spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the ongoing withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and efforts to evacuate vulnerable Afghans.
“They praised the ongoing efforts of their military and civilian personnel who are working closely together in Kabul on the evacuation of their citizens, vulnerable Afghans, and the courageous Afghan nationals who worked tirelessly over the last 20 years to provide security, promote peace, and deliver development assistance to the Afghan people,” the White House said in a readout of the call.
“They also discussed the need for close coordination on the provision of humanitarian aid for vulnerable Afghans in country as well as support for neighboring states, and agreed to continue planning for this work in the upcoming virtual meeting of [Group of Seven] G7 partners.”
Group of Seven (G-7) leaders are expected to meet virtually in the coming days to discuss, among other items, a coordinated approach to the end of the war in Afghanistan.
Merkel is the second world leader Biden has spoken to in the past 24 hours about Afghanistan. The president spoke Tuesday with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shortly after White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Biden had yet to call any world leaders about the chaotic pull out from Afghanistan.
The situation in Afghanistan has become increasingly unstable in recent days after the Taliban took control of the capital city of Kabul. Images and video circulated of Afghans frantically trying to flee the country on U.S. aircraft, fearful of living under Taliban rule.
Biden has forcefully defended his decision to pull all U.S. forces out of the country by the end of August, but the White House has faced intense criticism for the chaotic nature of the withdrawal, including the thousands of Afghan civilians seeking to flee the country who are left in limbo.