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China blames ‘irresponsible’ US withdrawal for Afghanistan crisis

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This photo released and taken by the Italian Defense press office on August 22, 2021 shows soldiers on the tarmac as passengers wait to board an Italian military aircraft at Kabul airport to fly to Rome. (Via AFP)

A senior Chinese diplomat has blamed the “irresponsible” manner in which the United States is ending its twenty-year military occupation of Afghanistan for the crisis unfolding in the country.

China's special envoy to Afghanistan, Yue Xiaoyong, criticized the United States on Sunday for leaving Afghanistan without first helping the conflict-ravaged country arrive at a political settlement.

"The US must realize that the use of force, military action, and interfering in the affairs of other countries only makes matters worse," Yue said in an interview with Pakistan's Geo TV news channel.

He pointed out that the ongoing troop withdrawal from Afghanistan was "irresponsible."

Amid the disorderly US withdrawal, the Taliban launched a military blitz to take power, which culminated with the seizure of the capital Kabul on August 15.

The sudden takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban has prompted criticism of US President Joe Biden, who pressed on with the withdrawal even as Kabul continued its negotiations in Doha to form a new government with the Taliban.

The Chinese special envoy said that Beijing was optimistic that the Taliban will unite all ethnic groups and form a government acceptable to all.

"Afghanistan should not be a safe haven for terrorism. It must make a clear break, a clear break away from terrorist groups," Yue said.

The Taliban, who have been holding talks with Afghan elders and politicians to set up their government, slammed the United States for the chaos around Kabul international airport.

"America, with all its power and facilities... has failed to bring order to the airport. There is peace and calm all over the country, but there is chaos only at Kabul airport," Taliban official Amir Khan Mutaqi said over the weekend.

Military sources said "unknown attackers" had killed an Afghan soldier and wounded 3 others outside Kabul's international airport on Monday.

US officials also warned of the possibility of an attack by the Taliban’s Daesh rivals.

The Taliban have control of the outside perimeters of the airport and American and German troops run the inside.

Foreign nationals and their local helpers, left behind after the sudden fall of the former government in Afghanistan, have been strongly advised by authorities to avoid traveling to the airport.

On Sunday, the Pentagon ordered several major airlines to provide passenger jets to help with the evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies from Kabul.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said 18 commercial aircraft would be used to help with the evacuation operation. 


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