Florida Rep. Michael Waltz (R) and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (R) issued a joint statement this week after meeting with the leader of the Afghan National Resistance Front. The meeting held on Wednesday, comes as the group continues to denounce the Taliban’s control of Afghanistan. It also comes at a time when the Biden Administration is receiving mounting criticism for its response to the Taliban’s takeover of the country.
In the joint statement, both lawmakers commented that “it was a great honor and privilege to talk to Ahmad Massoud, who is leading the Afghan National Resistance Front.”
The Republican members expressed appreciation at “hearing his continued commitment to resisting the brutality of the Afghan Taliban and standing for basic human rights and freedoms,” adding that “it is clear to us after this conversation that the Afghan Taliban are deeply unpopular and rested throughout the country.”
Waltz and Graham noted that “their cabinet and forces are comprised of al-Qaeda and other listed terrorist groups,” adding that “it is in America’s interest that the Afghan Taliban not be legitimized by the international community because they are, and have been, terrorists.”
After the Taliban took over Afghanistan, Waltz introduced a resolution “condemning" Biden over the Administration’s response. After the talk with Massoud, both Waltz and Graham also responded with a plea, urging “the Biden Administration to resist any effort to recognize the Afghan Taliban as the government of Afghanistan and resist all calls to provide the Afghan Taliban representation at the United Nations.”
Also, known as the Second Resistance, the Afghan National Resistance Front is comprised of former Northern Alliance members along with other anti-Taliban fighters that have remained loyal to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. It was created after the Taliban took over and after the withdrawal of United States and allied troops began to take place in the country.