Marco Rubio demands US designate Taliban a terror organization

Republican Senator demands State Department produce annual report on countries which hold diplomatic relations with the Taliban.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio
Reuters

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl) has demanded that Congress and the White House officially declare the Taliban a terrorist organization after the group seized power in Afghanistan last month, Fox News reported.

Rubio will introduce legislation Wednesday which would prohibit any federal agency from taking action which could be interpreted as expressing US recognition of the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

As part of the bill, Rubio also seeks to require the US State Department to present Congress with an annual report on which countries have "diplomatic relations" with the Taliban government as well as individuals who provide aid to the Taliban,

The Taliban seized control of Kabul on August 15 as the US withdrew its military forces from Afghanistan.

Senators from President Joe Biden's Democratic Party on Tuesday took the administration to task over the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which a top lawmaker called "fatally flawed", AFP reported.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken heard criticism across party lines as he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Bob Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and normally a Biden ally, recounted the beating of a reporter by the Taliban after it took over Afghanistan and said, "The repression of the Afghan people is happening in real time."

"Mr. Secretary, the execution of the US withdrawal was clearly and fatally flawed," Menendez said.

"This committee expects to receive a full explanation of this administration's decisions on Afghanistan since coming into office last January. There has to be accountability," he added.

Menendez at the same time also criticized the previous administration's signing of an agreement with the Taliban to withdraw US troops and end America's longest war.

"The chaos of (this) August is due in large part to the February 2020 surrender deal negotiated by Donald Trump, a deal that was clearly built on a set of lies," Menendez said.

Senator Ben Cardin, another Democrat, also blamed Trump for pushing for the release of Taliban prisoners and reducing troops under the accord.

However, he also said that Trump's actions did not "negate" that the Biden administration had information on the strength of the Afghan government and military which crumbled as US troops were still leaving.

"I think many of us are interested in knowing how intelligence got that so wrong," Cardin said, according to AFP.

Biden has come under heavy criticism for his handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, but has repeatedly defended his decision to withdraw from the country.



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