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Blinken to testify on Afghanistan before U.S. Senate next week

The US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to testify about the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, The Hill reports.

According to the newspaper, the hearing with the U.S. Secretary of State will take place on September 14. It is noted that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing will focus on “consideration of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.” As of now, only Blinken's speech is listed on the program.

“The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will continue its oversight role by holding hearings on U.S. policy toward Afghanistan, including the U.S. President Donald Trump administration's failed negotiations with the Taliban and the Biden administration's failed implementation of the U.S. troop withdrawal,” Democrat Robert Menendez, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, previously said.

“The committee will seek a full accounting of these shortcomings, as well as an assessment of why the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces surrendered so quickly,” he said.

The decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan was originally made by Joe Biden's predecessor as U.S. president, Donald Trump. When Biden came to the White House, he upheld that decision.

On August 31, Biden officially declared the end of the 20-year war the United States and its NATO allies had waged in Afghanistan under the guise of fighting terrorism. The last U.S. Air Force military transport plane left Kabul airport late on the evening of August 30, evacuating the remaining U.S. military personnel guarding it and diplomats who were working in the air harbor that remained their last stronghold in the Afghan capital.

Taliban fighters in July and August seized nearly all of Afghanistan's provinces one by one, entering Kabul on August 15. Afghan President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani and many members of his government fled the country.

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