WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden told G7 leaders on Tuesday that the United States was “accelerating” to complete the withdrawal from Afghanistan by August 31, but that emergency plans were being drawn up if the self-imposed deadline was not met. ۔
The White House said Biden also told Group of Seven leaders in a conference call that completing the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of the month would lead to “continued coordination” with the Taliban and access to the evacuation to Kabul Airport. Depends on
The United States has evacuated about 58,000 people, including more than 4,000 Americans, from Afghanistan since August 14, the day before the Taliban entered Kabul and took power, according to US officials.
Thousands more have been evacuated from European countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom.
The Taliban on Tuesday urged skilled Afghans not to flee the country and warned the United States and its NATO allies that they would not accept an extension of the withdrawal deadline.
A spokesman for the hardline Islamist group called on the United States to stop taking “Afghan specialists” such as engineers and doctors out of the country.
“This country needs their skills. They should not be taken to other countries,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a news conference in the capital.
They should not encourage the Afghan people to flee Afghanistan.
White House spokeswoman Jane Sackie said Biden had told G7 leaders that the US mission in Kabul would “end on the basis of achieving our goals.”
“He confirmed that we are currently in the process of closing by August 31,” Saki told reporters.
He also clarified that with each day of operation on the ground, we have increased the threat to our forces with the growing threat of ISIS. Continued evacuation access to the Taliban, including the airport. “
“The president has asked the Pentagon and the State Department for emergency plans to adjust the timeline if necessary,” a White House spokesman said.
European countries have said they will not be able to relocate all at-risk Afghans to the airport before the August 31 cut-off, and Biden has faced calls from all sides to increase the evacuation window.
– ‘It won’t be enough’ –
Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the Islamist group opposed the expansion.
They have planes, they have airports, they have to evacuate their citizens and contractors.
US-led forces have stepped up operations to evacuate thousands of people from Kabul by August 31 – the deadline set by the United States before the fall of the capital for the withdrawal of all foreign troops.
Germany says Western allies cannot expel every Afghan who needs protection before the deadline on Tuesday.
“Even if (the evacuation) is extended by a few days on or after August 31, it will not be enough,” Foreign Minister Haiku Moss told Blood TV.
Earlier, France said it would have to end its withdrawal from Kabul airport on Thursday if the United States sticks to the deadline, and Spain said it would not be able to rescue all Afghans who had joined the Spanish mission. I serve.
At the G7 summit, EU leaders urged Biden to keep Kabul airport safe until operations to evacuate vulnerable Afghans were completed.
Many Afghans fear a repeat of the brutal interpretation of Islamic law that the Taliban first brought to power in 1996-2001, or revenge for working with a US-backed government over the past two decades.
On Tuesday, Mujahid said Afghan government women workers should stay at home until the security situation in the country improves.
Dozens of Afghan schools, teachers and staff will be relocated to Rwanda, the country’s only boarding school for girls – the privately run School of Leadership, Afghanistan, said Shabana Basij Rasikh, the organisation’s founder.
A few days ago, Basij-Rashikh said she was burning her students’ academic records in an effort to “save them and their families.”
Australia has expelled dozens of sports women and athletes from the country, with former national football team captain Khaleda Popal saying some were killed on the run.
– Secret meeting –
Biden won a landslide victory for the Taliban after the withdrawal of almost all American troops from Afghanistan, following an agreement reached with former President Donald Trump’s movement.
However, Biden was forced to redeploy thousands of troops after the fall of Kabul to monitor the aircraft.
According to the Washington Post, William Burns, the head of the US Central Intelligence Agency, had a secret meeting with Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul on Monday, although no details were released and neither the CIA nor the Taliban. Confirmed it
The rush to get out of Kabul has created horrific scenes and killed at least eight people.
Some have been crushed and at least one young soccer player has died after falling from a plane.
The Taliban has repeatedly claimed to be different from its 1990 incarnation, and has announced a general amnesty for government forces and personnel.
But a United Nations intelligence survey found that militants were going from house to house preying on former government officials and those working with US and NATO forces.
In the capital and other cities, former insurgents have brought some sense of calm, with their fighters patrolling the streets and setting up checkpoints.