Boris Johnson to Pressure Biden to Delay Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan – Report

Tuesday, 24 August, 2021 - 00:24

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will push US President Joe Biden during Tuesday’s G7 virtual meeting to delay the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, The Telegraph reports.

“The main focus of the G7 is on the long-term of Afghanistan but they will of course be discussing the current evacuation effort”, a Downing Street source told the newspaper on Sunday.

Earlier on Sunday, Johnson announced that the leaders of the G7 countries will have urgent talks on the situation in Afghanistan on 24 August. Later on Sunday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Biden’s participation in the virtual meeting, adding that the talks will revolve around the issue of the evacuation of Americans and “vulnerable” Afghans and humanitarian assistance for refugees.

According to The Telegraph, British ministers have been pressing the US privately for days to consider delaying the withdrawal of troops in order to ease pressure on the Kabul Airport. Biden told reporters on Sunday that discussions were underway with American military officials about possibly extending the Afghanistan evacuation mission beyond the 31 August deadline.

Many countries began evacuating their citizens and diplomatic personnel from Afghanistan after the Taliban entered Kabul on August 15th. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani resigned and fled the country to prevent what he described as bloodshed if the militants had to fight for the city.

In a phone conversation with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Biden described the evacuation of people from Afghanistan following the fall of Kabul as the “largest airlift of people in history”.

The chief of the political office of the Taliban, Abdul Ghani Baradar, will likely make a decision concerning the structure of the future Afghan government over the next two weeks, a source in the Taliban told Sputnik on Saturday.

On Thursday, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced that G7 foreign ministers were urging the Taliban to guarantee Afghans and foreigners safe passage from Kabul. Raab, who chaired a conference call of US, Canadian, French, German, Italian, and Japanese foreign ministers, said in a statement that the seven nations would continue efforts to evacuate vulnerable people from the Afghan capital.

Source: Sputnik