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Afghan leader Ghani to visit White House as withdrawal nears

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Afghan leader Ashraf Ghani and the head of the country’s peace process will meet US President Joe Biden at the White House on Friday, as uncertainty mounts over Afghanistan’s future after the American military withdrawal.

Biden has ordered the departure of all US forces from Afghanistan by this year’s 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks that triggered the invasion. In moving to end America’s longest war, the president has said he believes that no more can be achieved.

“The visit by President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah will highlight the enduring partnership between the United States and Afghanistan as the military drawdown continues,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Sunday.

She added that Washington is committed to “providing diplomatic, economic, and humanitarian assistance to support the Afghan people, including Afghan women, girls and minorities.”

The US pullout from Afghanistan is more than 50 percent complete, the Pentagon said earlier in June.

Of special concern are some 18,000 interpreters, commandos and other Afghans who have applied for visas to the United States but are caught in a backlog.

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