The United States will complete the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan at the end of August.

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source: apnews.com

The process will end just earlier than expected by President Joe Biden, who had announced that the deadline was September 11, 20 years after the attack that motivated the invasion.

The United States plans to complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of August, days ahead of schedule. However, it will maintain a diplomatic presence in the country, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Friday.

"Right now, we hope to complete it by the end of August," said Psaki at his daily press conference.

This calendar is shorter than the one initially envisaged by US President Joe Biden, who set the deadline for September 11, when it will be 20 years since the 9/11 attacks that led to the invasion of Afghanistan by the United States. United.

Psaki spoke like this hour after it was learned that US forces had handed over control of Bagram Air Base, its main military installation in Afghanistan, to the Afghan authorities.

The spokeswoman also confirmed that "before the end" of the withdrawal process in August, the United States will move out of Afghanistan thousands of translators and other Afghan workers who have supported US forces during the last two decades of war.

Although Psaki did not want to give more details "for security reasons," the CNN chain reported this Friday that Washington is negotiating with Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan to take in some of these Afghan workers while they complete a long process to obtain a visa from entry to the United States.

The New York Times announced in June that there are more than 18,000 Afghans who have worked as translators, engineers, drivers, security guards, fixers (guides), and employees of the US embassy during the war and that they are in bureaucratic limbo after applying for that visa, known as SIV. These applicants also have 53,000 relatives.

"We plan to relocate these people somewhere outside of Afghanistan before ending our military withdrawal," stressed Psaki.

Questions about an acceleration of the withdrawal schedule have recently increased, as it became known that US and NATO troops had just left the Bagram airbase. The latter, the largest in the country, has been the main rear base for all US military operations in Afghanistan.

The spokeswoman also downplayed the abrupt response that Biden gave this Friday to journalists who asked him about Afghanistan during a ceremony at the White House.

After being asked three times about Afghanistan, Biden was exasperated and said that he would not answer any more questions about that country, then added, visibly annoyed, that this was a "holiday weekend" for US Independence Day, and wanted to talk about "happy things".

Psaki said journalists were "drawing too many conclusions" from Biden's reaction, saying he simply wanted to settle the issue because he had already answered three questions, not because it did not seem like an important issue.

During this exchange with the press, the US president also expressed the opinion that the Government of Afghanistan can maintain itself after the departure of US soldiers from its territory and despite the threat of the Taliban.

The reduction in international troops has coincided with increased the Taliban's offensives and their advance on the territories. Since the start of the withdrawal, the insurgents have captured almost 80 of the 407 districts from government forces.

According to press reports, the Americans would maintain almost 600 soldiers there to protect their embassy.