Washington: The United States ordered non-essential personnel to leave its Kabul embassy on Tuesday, citing an increasing threat as Washington prepares to end its 20-year war in Afghanistan.
The order was issued two weeks after President Biden announced that the US military (currently about 2,500) will leave the country in September.
Meanwhile, Zalmay Khalilzad, Washington s special envoy to Afghanistan, warned in a Senate hearing that US aid could be slashed if a Taliban-dominated government did not respect human rights.
The State Department said in a travel advisory that it had “ordered the departure from US embassy Kabul of US government employees whose functions can be performed elsewhere.”
Ross Wilson, the acting US ambassador in Kabul, said that the State Department took the decision “in light of increasing violence and threat reports in Kabul.”
He said the order affected an unspecified “relatively small number” of employees and that the embassy would remain operating.
“Personnel who are urgently needed to address issues related to the drawdown of US forces and the vital work we are doing in support of the Afghan people will be able to remain in place,” Wilson wrote on Twitter.
Biden said earlier this month that he would withdraw troops from Afghanistan on September 11, the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion and overthrow of the Taliban regime that had welcomed Al Qaeda.
Biden concluded that the U.S. military has achieved its goals and can only do more, but U.S. officials have made no secret of their fear that the Taliban believes that their victory will intensify violence.
The State Department’s advisory report also warned the Americans against revisiting. He said: “Terrorist organizations and insurgent organizations continue to plan and carry out attacks on Afghanistan.”
The Biden administration will maintain a limited force in Kabul to protect the huge embassy.
At the hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Khalilzad has been overseeing negotiations with the Taliban rebels for the past few years. He said that the United States can use hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the country and pressure them Respect human rights, especially in terms of human rights. female.
“The Talib say they are interested in not being a pariah,” he told the panel.
“We have said that if they do want US assistance, if they want international acceptance, they want to end their pariah status … those things will be all affected by how they treat their own citizens — first and foremost, women of Afghanistan, children and minorities.”
“I have personally made it very clear that the issue of human rights, particularly women s rights, is second to terrorism in terms of the hierarchy of US policy importance,” he said.
He added that if the Taliban seize power militarily from the government in Kabul, they will have little international support.
“They will face isolation, regional opposition, sanctions, and international opprobrium,” he said.
“There is remarkable consensus within the region and the international community against a military takeover by the Taliban.”