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Biden says unlikely US troops will still be in Afghanistan next year

US President Joe Biden on Thursday said it will be hard to meet a May 1 deadline to withdraw the last US troops from Afghanistan, but said he did not think they would still be there next year.
 
Speaking at the first formal White House news conference of his presidency, Biden was asked whether it was possible there would be US troops in Afghanistan next year. "I can't picture, that being the case," he responded.
 
His comments come amid a push by the United States to build international pressure to kickstart stalled peace talks between the Taliban and a delegation that includes officials of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's government before the May 1 deadline.
The deadline was set in a February 2020 deal struck with the Taliban under former President Donald Trump for a phased withdrawal of US troops from America's longest war.
 
Biden noted that Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been in Europe meeting with US allies that have troops in Afghanistan and "if we leave, we are going to do so in a safe and orderly way."
 
"The question is how and in what circumstances do we meet that agreement that was made by President Trump to leave under a deal that looks like it's not being able to be worked out to begin with," Biden said.
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