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Lapid walks back criticism of US pullout from Afghanistan in call with Blinken

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Foreign Minister Yair Lapid praised the Biden administration’s evacuation of Afghanistan during a Monday call with United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in what appeared to be an attempt to paper over criticism he voiced over the effort days earlier.

Lapid and Blinken also discussed Israeli efforts to ease pressure in the Gaza Strip while maintaining security, and Iran’s nuclear program. The two agreed to meet next month, Lapid’s office said.

The call came days after Lapid publicly lobbed criticism at the Biden administration’s Afghanistan pullout, despite Prime Minister Naftali Bennett being fresh off a visit to Washington in which the administrations sought to display warm ties and a shift from the public tiffs of past governments.

“The minister expressed his deep appreciation for the US effort in Afghanistan, especially with regard to the extraordinary evacuation operation,” Lapid’s office said in its readout of the call Monday.

Lapid told reporters on Wednesday that the withdrawal “was probably the right decision maybe that wasn’t performed in the right manner.”

“I think the entire globe was concerned, and first and foremost the Americans themselves. It didn’t happen the way it was supposed to........

© The Times of Israel

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