G7: Taliban must allow evacuees after 31 August
The Taliban (terrorist movement banned in Russia) must guarantee a safe passage for those who want to leave Afghanistan beyond the 31 August deadline, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.
Following an emergency virtual meeting of G7 leaders, Johnson said the UK would continue evacuating people from the country "until the last moment". He added he was confident thousands more could be airlifted out.
The UK was among several other G7 countries pressing the US to delay its withdrawal of troops, warning they will not be able to evacuate all those fleeing the Taliban after 31 August without the U.S. presence at Kabul airport.
Johnson, who chaired the meeting, said the G7 - the UK, U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan - had agreed a "roadmap" for engaging with the Taliban, which retook full control of the country nine days ago.
"The number one condition that we are insisting upon is safe passage beyond the 31st, beyond this initial phase, for those who want to leave Afghanistan," BBC cited him as saying..
He added that the G7 had "very considerable leverage - economic, diplomatic and political" at its disposal, including withholding substantial funds from the Taliban.
The prime minister said the UK had so far evacuated 9,000 people from Kabul, across 57 flights - although he added that there were "harrowing scenes" at the airport.
"We're confident we can get thousands more out, but the situation at the airport is not getting any better," he said.
Earlier, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said there was enough time to get foreign nationals out before the 31 August deadline. The Taliban has previously warned of consequences if foreign forces remain after the deadline agreed with the U.S.