Blinken, Austin reportedly call on Afghan Pres. to resign

TEHRAN, Aug. 13 (MNA) – The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin have reportedly called on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to resign and allow the formation of a transitional government.

A reliable source says that on Thursday night, in a telephone conversation with Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the US Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense asked him to resign in order to allow a ceasefire and the formation of a transitional government, AJC reported.

Later, a senior US State Department official denied that report, according to Christina Ruffini.

With security rapidly deteriorating in Afghanistan, the United States is sending additional troops into the country to help evacuate some personnel from the embassy in Kabul, a US official said Thursday.

The troops will provide ground and air support for the processing and security of Americans being sent to the Kabul airport said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a plan not yet made public.

The move suggests a lack of confidence by the Biden administration in the Afghan government’s ability to provide sufficient diplomatic security in the capital as the Taliban advances to capture key cities in recent days.

The Pentagon had kept about 650 troops in Afghanistan to support US diplomatic security, including at the airport. The official said an unspecified additional number of troops, as well as aircraft, are to be brought in to assist with the embassy drawdown.

RHM/PR

News Code 177289

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