Boris Johnson failed to persuade Joe Biden to delay exit from Afghanistan

Afghans face a dark and dangerous future next Boris Johnson Other leaders failed to persuade the United States to extend the deadline for evacuation flights, while the Taliban said citizens would no longer be allowed to go to the airport.

With the window of escape quickly closing, there are deep fears among those who fear Taliban persecution that they will be abandoned, trapped in a country cut off from the outside world.

It was reported last night that both Britain and the United States could withdraw even before August 31 due to the need to withdraw troops – perhaps in less than 36 hours.

Several G7 leaders – believed to include French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen as well as the prime minister – have expressed concern that thousands will be left behind due to Joe Biden’s August 31 deadline.

But the US president did not budge, citing the growing threat of a terrorist attack at Kabul airport. “The sooner we can finish, the better,” he later said — though he left the door open for the Pentagon to “adjust the withdrawal schedule if it becomes necessary.”

He leaves Mr Johnson calling for Taliban guarantees of safe passage for those trying to flee after the deadline, and threatening unspecified economic, diplomatic and political action if the new rulers Afghanistan Returning to harboring terrorists and making a mockery of the human rights of women and minorities.

Labor described Johnson’s failure to persuade the president to grant a few more days for the airlift as a “dark moment for the UK government and for Afghans”, while former Conservative Defense Secretary Tobias Ellwood said independent It should lead to a “self-searching” about Britain’s waning influence in Washington.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said at a press conference in Kabul that those with foreign passports would still be allowed to go on flights. However, this means that Afghan passport holders with special US airlift visas will be stopped at checkpoints.

Travel restrictions were imposed on Afghan nationals ostensibly to reduce overcrowding. Mr. Mujahid asked the more than 20,000 people who had gathered in and around the airport to return home, saying, “Your safety is guaranteed.” He accused the Americans of trying to organize a “brain drain” of educated professionals, saying: “Don’t encourage Afghans to leave. We need their talent.”

In an apparent warning to the G7 nations hours before the video summit, the spokesman said the Taliban – who have so far cooperated to some extent with the evacuation effort – would take a “different stance” if foreign forces tried to continue them beyond the end of the war. Month.

“There has been no change to the timeline for the mission, which is to get it done by the end of the month,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said at a Washington briefing while the G7 leaders were still talking. Mr Biden has reportedly agreed to prepare “contingency plans” to get people beyond the deadline if necessary, but no further details have been provided and it remains unclear whether this means the use of military force.

Boris Johnson addresses fellow G7 leaders via a secure video link from 9 Downing Street

(Simon Dawson/10 Downing Street)

Johnson refused to discuss whether he had tried and failed to persuade Biden to extend the timetable. Instead, he said, the G7 agreed to a “road map for future engagement with the Taliban” on the condition that the fundamentalist group fulfill its commitments on preventing terrorism, respecting human rights and promoting a comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.

“The first condition we put in the G7 is that they have to guarantee, until August 31 and beyond, safe passage for those who want to get out,” Johnson said. “Some of them will say they don’t accept that, and I hope some will see that because the G7 has so much influence, economically, diplomatically and politically.”

In a joint statement, the G7 nations – the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan – pledged “renewed humanitarian efforts” for the people of Afghanistan and warned that the Taliban would be “accountable” for their actions. But the statement contained no specific pledges of aid or refugee resettlement, nor proposals for sanctions against the militant group, which seized power in a lightning military offensive 20 years after it was ousted in 2001.

The only immediate announcement of new aid came from the European Union, which offered to quadruple humanitarian aid to Afghanistan from 50 million euros to 200 million euros.

In a joint letter to MPs and peers, Secretary of State Dominic Raab, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel promised that “the full force of the government will impact” the growing numbers of evacuees, but acknowledged: “This window of opportunity at Kabul airport for military evacuation will soon approach.. .

“It is the sad fact that many of those who have been screened and declared eligible for evacuation may not arrive at the airport before our flights are over.”

Describing himself as “disappointed” with the outcome of the emergency summit, Ellwood – a military veteran who chairs the House of Commons defense committee – said – independent: “We see that the most powerful countries in the world cannot keep even one airport open.

“History will decide whether this is a turning point for the West’s ability to influence world affairs, but for the time being this is a very dark day indeed… Terrorist groups will be supported by the defeat of a superpower, the migration crisis will be enormous and the humanitarian problems ahead will be really very big.”

He added: “I wouldn’t say it was the prime minister’s personal failure, but there is certainly some self-research that Britain has to do about our relationship with the United States and our inability to prevent decision-making in the White House, which was based on pleasing voters at home.”

Shadow Secretary of State Lisa Nandy said: “The Prime Minister failed to persuade President Biden to agree to an extension of the evacuation effort and the sad reality is that people are going to be left behind – appalling and unbelievable. With 18 months to prepare for this, we are left in a desperate struggle, with soldiers trying to And heroic diplomats on the ground move mountains as the clock continues to turn.”

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: “Boris Johnson has come out of this summit with nothing. Britain must stand tall in the world, but this Prime Minister falls short at every turn.

He has failed again on the world stage, and the consequences could not be more devastating.

In their first press conference since capturing Kabul and the country, the Taliban vowed, among other things, that they would not seek revenge, those who wanted to leave the country could do so, and women would enjoy equal rights under Islamic law.

But since then, people have been arrested in their homes as well as at checkpoints on their way to the airport. Along with a number of killings, a ban on Afghans going to the airport, and an order for women to stay home, the report showed how quickly Islamists enforced strict regulations.

What was revealed was heartbreaking for those Afghans who believed that the United States and its allies would rescue them from Islamist oppression. Benish Aliwal, a 28-year-old human rights activist now living in hiding, said: “I am no longer surprised that the Taliban and the US president are going to hurt us so much in one day. I suppose something like this always would have happened when Mr. Biden announced that he would take the soldiers This was a signal for the Taliban to attack.

Americans and Europeans encouraged women like me to become educated, to get a job, to express our opinions. These are the things that make me a target for the Taliban now.”

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