Pope Francis condemns two-decade US war in Afghanistan

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)
Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church

Pope Francis has denounced the United States over its two-decade-long war in Afghanistan as an outsider's attempt to impose democracy on the country ignoring the traditions of the local people. 

Asked during a recent interview about the new political map forming in Afghanistan in the wake of the US withdrawal, Pope replied that he would prefer to answer the question by referring to a quote from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom he said was “one of the world’s greatest political figures.”

“It is necessary to put an end to the irresponsible policy of intervening from outside and building democracy in other countries, ignoring the traditions of the peoples,” the Pope said.

That quote mentioned by Pope Francis, however, was from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

During a joint press conference between Putin and Merkel on August 20, the Russian president conveyed the same remarks.

“It’s necessary to stop the irresponsible policy of enforcing its own values on others and attempts to build democracy in other countries based on outside models without taking into account historic, ethnic and religious issues and fully ignoring other people’s traditions,” Putin said.

Meanwhile, the German chancellor admitted during the same press conference that the Western countries have not achieved their goals in Afghanistan.

“On another project, namely for there to be a collective position of the Afghan population for its own future, we did not achieve our goals — I want to say that very openly,” Merkel noted.

“I must say that, in our development cooperation efforts, we did not want to force any system on Afghanistan,” she added. “But we saw that millions of girls were glad to go to school and that women could participate. There are many in Afghanistan who are very, very unhappy about developments now.”

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of the so-called war on terror. While the invasion ended the Taliban’s rule in the country back then, it is now ended with the return of the group to power.


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