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Published on March 18, 2021 10:42 PM

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Biden on US meeting looming Afghanistan withdrawal deadline: 'Could happen, but it is tough'
Washington (CNN)President Joe Biden said he is still making a decision on withdrawing all US troops from Afghanistan ahead of a May 1 deadline set by former President Donald Trump, saying it "could happen, but it is tough."

"I'm in the process of making that decision now as to when they'll leave. The fact is, that was not a very solidly negotiated deal that the President, the former President, worked out. So we're in consultation with our allies as well as the government, and that decision's -- it's in process now," Biden said in an interview that aired Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Biden predicted that he didn't think it would "take a lot longer," but said a full withdrawal by May 1 "could happen, but it is tough."

He went on to place blame on the transition process between the Trump administration and his own, saying that "a failure to have an orderly transition from the Trump presidency to my presidency ... has cost me time, and consequences." "That's one of the issues we're talking about now, in terms of Afghanistan," he added.

The Biden administration is running out of time, with less than 50 days before the May 1 deadline, the date upon which the US is supposed to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan under a peace agreement signed between the Trump administration and the Taliban. But any decision, from a complete withdrawal to an increase in troop levels, will require planning and coordination weeks ahead of that date.

Several defense officials previously told CNN that the US-led NATO alliance would like to see decisions taken no later than April 1 because of the challenges of removing US weaponry and equipment, amid concerns about some of it falling into the hands of the Taliban.