Biden says he stands ‘squarely behind’ Afghanistan decision

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WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden says he stands "squarely behind" his decision for the U.S. to leave Afghanistan. Speaking about the chaotic situation in Afghanistan, Biden says he faced a choice between following an agreement to withdraw or sending thousands more U.S. troops for a "third decade" of war.

Biden spoke Monday after the planned withdrawal of American forces turned deadly at Kabul’s airport as thousands tried to flee following the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country.

Biden returned to the White House from the Camp David presidential retreat to deliver his first public remarks on the situation in nearly a week.

Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council is calling for an immediate end to violence in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the country and inclusive talks to form a new government that includes women. The council on Monday issued its first statement since the ouster of the U.S.-backed government in Kabul.

The council stressed that Afghan territory should not be used by the Taliban or any other group “to threaten or attack any country.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged international unity to ensure human rights and combat terrorism. He says that the “world is following events in Afghanistan with a heavy heart and deep disquiet about what lies ahead.”