Former President George W. Bush and wife Laura express ‘deep sadness and heavy hearts’ following Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan

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Former US President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush have expressed their ‘deep sadness’ over the events unfolding in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover of the country.

In a statement issued late on Monday night, August 16, the former president and his wife said their ‘hearts are heavy for both the Afghan people who have suffered so much and for the Americans and NATO allies who have sacrificed so much.’

Before now, Bush had criticized the planned withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan just last month, warning that civilians would be left to be ‘slaughtered’ by the ‘brutal’ Taliban and women and girls would face ‘unspeakable harm.’

After expressing his condolences, Bush and his wife went on to recognize the veterans who had served in Afghanistan, lauding their accomplishments and recognizing the wounds, both visible and invisible, suffered by those who were embroiled in the conflict.

The former president and his wife rounded off their statement by offering their support and that of the Bush Center, a complex which houses Bush’s presidential library, policy institute, and the George W. Bush Foundation.

“Laura and I have been watching the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan with deep sadness. Our hearts are heavy for both the Afghan people who have suffered so much and for the Americans and NATO allies who have sacrificed so much,” the former president under whose watch the US invaded both Iraq and Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks on his country, said in a statement issued late on Monday.

Read the full statement below. 

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