United States President Joe Biden has decided to delay his in-person meeting with Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett following the suicide bomb attack outside Kabul airport on Thursday, reports The Associated Press. More than a dozen people were killed in the attack, including some US citizens, and the death toll is expected to rise.
The White House was expected to host Naftali Bennett, Israel’s new prime minister, who is on his first visit to the United States since taking office. President Joe Biden was also scheduled to meet a bipartisan group of governors who have expressed willingness to help resettle Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban rule.
However, the terrorist attack, currently being ascribed to ISIS-K by certain US sources and the media, has put Biden’s plans on hold. Joe Biden is reportedly monitoring the developments in Afghanistan following the attack. More than 1,500 US passport-holders are reportedly still in Afghanistan.
Joe Biden’s meetings with the Israeli prime minister have been delayed indefinitely while his meeting with the governors has been cancelled.
On Thursday, two suicide bombers targeted crowds gathered near the Kabul airport days before US’ official withdrawal from Afghanistan. A US official told The Associated Press that he “definitely believed” that the attack was carried out by the Islamic State. The chapter of the Islamic State active in Afghanistan is called Islamic State-Khorasan or ISIS-K.
Several of US’ western allies have requested the Biden administration to extend the deadline of troops from Afghanistan. But the White House has remained steadfast that it seeks to withdraw all troops from the country by August 31.
When ABC News asked about whether evacuations from Afghanistan could end Friday, US ambassador to Afghanistan Ross Wilson declined to comment. Wilson said that “there are safe ways to go to the airport”. However, the position on that is expected to change after Thursday’s attack outside the Kabul airport.
(With inputs from The Associated Press)