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WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday defended the US decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, saying the terror threat had moved elsewhere and that Washington needed to refocus resources on challenges such as China and the pandemic.

President Joe Biden announced last week that the United States would withdraw all forces from the country before this year's 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

The unconditional withdrawal -- four months later than a deadline agreed with the Taliban last year -- comes despite a deadlock in peace talks between the insurgents and the Afghan government.

CIA head William Burns and US generals including the former armed forces chief David Petraeus have argued that the move could plunge the country deeper into violence and leave America more vulnerable to terrorist threats.

"The terrorism threat has moved to other places. And we have other very important items on our agenda, including the relationship with China, including dealing with everything from climate change to Covid," Blinken told ABC's "This Week."

"And that's where we have to focus our energy and resources."