The G7 have agreed on a “road map” for engaging with the Taliban, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, adding that “condition number one” is that activists allow safe passage for those seeking to leave Afghanistan after August 31.
Leaders of the G7 countries – the US, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Canada and Japan – held a virtual meeting on Tuesday to discuss the current crisis in Afghanistan. Speaking after the event, the British Prime Minister revealed that the group had developed a common approach to dealing with the Taliban.
What we have done today, the G7, is that we have … agreed not only on a common approach to manage the evacuation, but also on a roadmap for how we are going to engage with it. the Taliban.
The seven rich nations have a “Huge leverage” on the militant group, which invaded Afghanistan a week ago, Johnson said. Although the prime minister did not give many details, he hinted at the withholding of frozen Afghan funds held in foreign banks.
“Some will say that they do not accept this and some, I hope, will see the meaning, because the G7 has a very important weight – economic, diplomatic and political,” he added. Johnson said.
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The main condition so far that G7 leaders have agreed is that the Taliban must allow the evacuation of those who wish to leave Afghanistan beyond the August 31 deadline. from which the remaining foreign troops are expected to depart. The UK has so far extracted some 9,000 people from Kabul airport, according to Johnson, who said he was “confident” Britain can “Out of it thousands more. “ At the same time, the PM admitted “The situation at the airport is not improving.
“The number one condition that we set as G7 is that they must guarantee, until August 31 and beyond, a safe passage for those who want to go out”, Johnson said.
Speaking after the G7 meeting, French President Emmanuel Macron said the withdrawal and evacuation timeframe was in the hands of the United States, as it was up to the United States to decide when to end operations at Kabul.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, meanwhile, said the evacuations could not continue without the support of the United States. Merkel also said Germany would commit € 100 million in immediate humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, adding that an additional € 500 million could be provided later.
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Taliban HAVE NOT AGREED to extend evacuation time, want ALL overseas departures completed by Aug 31 – spokesperson
Earlier today, however, the Taliban reaffirmed their stance on the evacuation process, with group spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid reiterating that foreign evacuations must be completed before the August 31 deadline. Mujahid also said the thousands of Afghans crowded in and around Kabul airport hoping to leave the country had nothing to fear from the Taliban and should return home. “We guarantee their safety” he said.
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