Without 5,800 US troops remaining, it is impossible to keep Kabul International Airport open for the evacuations that Western countries still want to carry out. This airport is currently the only operating airport in Afghanistan.
External Affairs Minister Kaag announced Tuesday morning that “extra time” was needed. Otherwise, many people would not be able to fly to the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom or France.
Earlier, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace called on US President Joe Biden to stay for a day or two, “because it gives us an extra day or two to evacuate people.” His fellow Secretary of State James Hebby stated in no uncertain terms that “the harsh reality is that without American support there is no international airlift.”
According to the White House, nearly 50,000 people were evacuated from Afghanistan between August 14 and Tuesday morning thanks to US support. Thousands more are still waiting their turn in and around Kabul airport.
Most of them have cooperated with Western military, aid organizations or journalists in recent years, and now fear Taliban reprisals. On Tuesday, the United Nations said it had received credible reports of executions allegedly carried out by the Taliban.
Several members of the Group of Seven, the group of wealthy industrialized nations that the United Kingdom currently chairs, have urged US President Biden to keep his forces in Afghanistan for a longer period. For example, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday he was “concerned” about the fast US deadline of August 31, and his German counterpart Heiko Maas said on Monday he was outspoken in favor of keeping Kabul airport open for a longer period. ..
Incidentally, Biden is not actually expected to deal on Tuesday. British Defense Secretary Wallace told Sky News on Tuesday morning that he considered an extension of the deadline “unlikely”. He said he was relying on public statements made by both the Taliban and Biden in recent days.
For example, the US president has said that while the US’s departure can be delayed, he still stands behind his decision to end the military mission by August 31. A Taliban spokesman in turn warned on Monday that an extension beyond August 31 would cross a “red line” that would certainly “provoke a response”.
Agenda item 57
At the last G7 summit in June, the situation in Afghanistan was still on the agenda of item 57 of 70, after a long period of discussions on the situation in Ukraine, Belarus and Ethiopia. Although Biden has already announced that his forces will leave the country on August 31, nearly 20 years after the Allied intervention began, concerns about the Taliban’s eventual resurgence have not made it to the two-page summit summary.
Two months later, things were completely different and the situation in Afghanistan was high on the agenda. Leaders of the Group of Seven nations on Tuesday want to agree at least on a common strategy and approach to evacuating people from Afghanistan, as well as a series of agreements on taking in refugees from that country and supporting the Afghan people who have left the country. behind.
The latter appears to be much needed as the United Nations World Food Program warned this week of an imminent famine in Afghanistan. It can get terrible from September, affecting up to 20 million Afghans. Before the Taliban took over, Afghanistan was already suffering from severe food shortages. For example, more than half of children under the age of five were malnourished.
As the country has since also been hit by its second major drought in three years, which has resulted in about 40 percent of crops failing, and food aid supplies interrupted since the Taliban took over, many aid agencies are now threatening grave danger. crisis situation.