Rest of Asia

Blinken says ‘status quo was not option’ in Afghanistan

Filed on June 25, 2021

(Reuters file)

US looking 'very hard' to see if the Taleban was serious about peace.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday said the status quo was not an option for the US in Afghanistan, as it prepares to withdraw troops by September despite a rise in attacks.

“We are seeing elevated attacks on the Afghan security forces in certain parts of the country compared to a year ago,” Blinken said on a visit to Paris, acknowledging the US had to look “very hard” to see if the Taleban was serious about peace.

But he added: “Had we not begun the process of drawing down... the status quo would not have helped... The status quo was not an option.”

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