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Afghan president addresses nation as Taliban close in on Kabul

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday made his first public remarks since the Taliban captured over half of the country's provincial capitals, saying that he's focusing on preventing “instability, violence and the displacement of people.”

State of play: In a televised speech, Ghani gave no hints that he would resign, despite being under pressure from Afghan officials who want a transitional government headed by someone who can negotiate with the Taliban to prevent their takeover of Kabul, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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  • The removal of Ghani has been a demand by the Taliban as negotiations between Afghanistan, the Taliban, the United States and other nations continue in Qatar, the Journal notes.

  • Ghani is losing control of the country, ruling only Kabul and a few other cities, per The New York Times.

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