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Khalilzad Says U.S. 'Not Leaving Afghanistan' Despite Troop Withdrawal

Envoy: U.S. Forces May Be Leaving Afghanistan, But The U.S. Is Not
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Envoy: U.S. Forces May Be Leaving Afghanistan, But The U.S. Is Not

NUR-SULTAN -- U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has said the United States will not abandon the war-torn country even after the withdrawal of its forces planned for later this year.

“Our forces are leaving Afghanistan, but the United States is not leaving Afghanistan. We will work hard for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan,” Khalilzad told a news conference during his visit to Kazakhstan's capital, Nur-Sultan, on June 13.

“We will continue our security assistance, and we will continue our economic and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan,” he added.

Spiraling violence and stalled peace talks between the Taliban and the Western-backed government in Kabul have casts further uncertainty over the future of the country once U.S.-led international forces leave the country by September 11.

Despite the troop pullout, U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has vowed to remain committed to providing military and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department announced more than $266 million in new humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan, bringing to nearly $3.9 billion the amount of U.S. humanitarian aid to Afghanistan since 2002.

In Nur-Sultan, Khalilzad also said that he regularly discusses Afghanistan with his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin's special representative Zamir Kabulov.

“Russia and the United States are working well together in promoting peace in Afghanistan,” according to the Afghan-born diplomat.