Taliban confirms that August 31 will remain absolute deadline for full US withdrawal

Taliban confirms that August 31 will remain absolute deadline for full US withdrawal

The Taliban movement has confirmed that they consider August 31 as the deadline for the full withdrawal of all US forces from Afghanistan, stating that they consider any extension of the timetable related to their stay in Afghanistan as an extension of the US occupation.

“August 31st is a red line, and if they extend it, that means that they are extending the occupation. There is no need for that,” Spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Suhail Shaheen, said in an interview with British channel Sky News.

He added that “if the United States or the United Kingdom request more time to continue the evacuations: the answer is no. Otherwise, there will be consequences.”

“It [the extension] would create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation, that will provoke a reaction,” Shaheen stressed.

The response by Afghanistan comes as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to personally appeal to the US President Joe Biden to extend the deadline for US forces to leave Afghanistan, in order to allow more foreign specialists and Afghan collaborators with the occupation force to be evacuated from the country.

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