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Afghan President makes televised address against the backdrop of Taliban offensive

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, in a televised address to the nation, vowed not to let the “gains of the past 20 years” be lost, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“As my historic responsibility, I am trying to prevent the war imposed on the Afghan people from causing further killings of innocent people, the loss of 20 years of gains, the destruction of state institutions, and prolonged instability,” the Afghan leader said.

According to the newspaper, the country's politicians urged Ghani to resign so that the interim government could negotiate a ceasefire with the Taliban and prevent the storming of Kabul. The president did not comment on these calls during his televised address.

On Aug. 14, Taliban fighters captured two more provinces and approached the outskirts of the country's capital, the Associated Press reported. In recent months, they have taken control of most of northern, western, and southern Afghanistan.

According to the latest data, the Taliban is 11 kilometers south of the capital Kabul. In addition, the militants attacked the city of Mazar-e-Sharif, located in the north of the country. Fierce fighting broke out on the outskirts of the settlement.

The escalation of conflict between the government forces and fighters of the movement occurs against the background of the withdrawal of the US military contingent from Afghanistan. Washington plans to withdraw troops from the country by September 11, 2021. The media reported that the management of the American embassy in Kabul instructed employees of the diplomatic mission to destroy confidential materials due to fears that they would fall into the hands of the Taliban.

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