The White House quietly corrected a mistake President Biden made during his press conference Thursday in which he appeared to confuse the names of Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani and the controversial former Pakistani army chief.
“And General Austin just met with Kayani and I’m looking forward to the briefing on that,” Biden said Thursday.
But the official White House transcript of the briefing now says “Ghani” instead of Kayani.
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani left the Pakistan Army in 2013. In a retrospective on Kayani’s leadership, The New York Times reported that Kayani was often accused of “double treatment and bad faith.”
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But in addition to mistaking Ghani for Kayani at the briefing, Biden appeared to question Ghani’s legitimacy as president of Afghanistan.
“He’s the – the ‘leader,’ he quotes, in Afghanistan and Kabul. And there’s a UN-led process that’s starting shortly on how to get people mechanically – how to end this war,” Biden said.
That quote was unchanged in the official White House transcript.
Ghani won a contested presidential election held last year and was sworn in in March. His rival continues to contest the election results, but the United States has recognized Ghani as the winner of the election.
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Zalmay Khalilzad, an American diplomat who has served all presidents since George W. Bush and is at the center of the peace efforts in Afghanistan, and General Austin Miller, along with many other diplomats, attended Ghani’s recent swearing-in. , according to the times.
Biden’s press conference on Thursday was the first of his presidency, 65 days after his inauguration.
The president also addressed other issues, from legislative obstructionism to electoral reform. The most prominent issue during the press was the situation on the southern border. Biden strongly defended his actions by rolling back the Trump administration’s policies by executive order.
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“First of all, all the policies that were in place weren’t helping at all, they didn’t stop the amount of immigration,” Biden said. “Reverse the policies of separating children from their mothers? Don’t apologize for that.”
“Reverting the ‘Stay in Mexico’ policies, sitting on the edge of the Rio Grande in a muddy circumstance without enough food? “I do not apologize for ending programs that did not exist before Trump became president and that have an incredibly negative impact on the law, international law, as well as human dignity. Therefore, I do not apologize for that. “.
The president also said that he is committed to transparency at the border after his administration begins to implement certain actions and said that North Korea is its main foreign policy problem.