Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh Says He is ‘Caretaker’ President

Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said on Aug. 17 that he was “legally and legitimately” the “caretaker” president after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as the Taliban seized control of the capital.

“According to the explicit provision of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, in case of absence, escape or death of the President, the First Vice President will be the caretaker President. I am inside the country and I am legally and legitimately in charge of this position,” Saleh said on Twitter.

Saleh, whose whereabouts are unknown, added that he was consulting with the leaders of Afghanistan to strengthen the position.

“I will never, ever and under no circumstances bow to the Talib terrorists,” Saleh further said.

Saleh also said that it was “futile” to argue with United States President Joe Biden, who persistently defended his decision to withdraw all U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Taliban rapidly made major territorial gains in Afghanistan following the U.S. withdrawal.

Saleh said Afghans “must prove” that their country was not Vietnam and that the Taliban militants “aren’t even remotely like Viet Cong,” a Communist-led guerrilla force in South Vietnam.

A video footage showing dozens of Afghans trying to get into a U.S. military plane as it was about to depart showed resemblance to a photograph that showed people trying to get on a helicopter in Vietnamese capital Saigon after the U.S. withdrawal in 1975.

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