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Joe Biden and Ashraf Ghani meet in the Oval Office President Joe Biden, right, meets with former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, June 25, 2021 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).

The Middle East Is Watching Events in Afghanistan Very Closely

Monday, Aug. 16, 2021

Editor’s Note: This is the web version of our subscriber-only weekly newsletter, Middle East Memo, which takes a look at what’s happening, what’s being said and what’s on the horizon in the Middle East. Subscribe to receive it by email every Monday. If you’re already a subscriber, adjust your newsletter settings to receive it. 

The return of Taliban rule to Afghanistan 20 years after the group’s ouster by a U.S.-led coalition came as a great shock, first and foremost to the Afghan population. Its many flaws notwithstanding, the now-dissolved, Western-backed Afghan central government allowed Afghans to live under a considerably less repressive system than that imposed by the Taliban the last time they were in power.  ...

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