The fall of Kabul last month led to a chaotic evacuation of Western civilians, but apparently could have been prevented. Khalilzad said it was agreed at the last minute that the Taliban would not enter the city yet.
The deal provided for a transition period of two weeks, according to the diplomat. President Ashraf Ghani would remain in his post temporarily. Meanwhile, Qatar is said to be negotiating a transitional government.
Ultimately, none of those agreements came to fruition. Ghani went abroad and that led to chaos in the capital. Khalilzad told the newspaper he was not aware of the Afghan leader’s flight plan. After his departure, the security services would no longer have functioned.
The Taliban then allegedly asked whether the United States would provide security in Kabul. “And you know what happened. We did not want to take that responsibility,” said Khalilzad in his first interview since the American departure from Afghanistan.
According to the Financial Times, Ghani himself was unable to request a response. The former president previously stated that he had fled to avoid further bloodshed.