Taliban says Joe Biden will 'provoke a reaction' if US troops stay
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to exert pressure on US President Joe Biden to extend the August 31 deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. President Biden is expected to decide whether to extend the deadline within 24 hours, with some of his advisers arguing against a delay for security reasons. Ahead of the meeting, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Our first priority is to complete the evacuation of our citizens and those Afghans who have assisted our efforts over the last 20 years – but as we look ahead to the next phase, it’s vital we come together as an international community and agree a joint approach for the longer term.
Boris Johnson said: “That’s why I’ve called an emergency meeting of the G7 – to coordinate our response to the immediate crisis, to reaffirm our commitment to the Afghan people, and to ask our international partners to match the UK’s commitments to support those in need.
“Together with our partners and allies, we will continue to use every humanitarian and diplomatic lever to safeguard human rights and protect the gains made over the last two decades.
“The Taliban will be judged by their deeds and not their words.”
EU leaders are particularly concerned about a major migration wave from Afghanistan as people desperately flee the much-feared Taliban rule.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis yesterday joined other EU leaders in their call to “avert” new migration flows from Afghanistan to Europe.
He said: “It is important for the European Union to support the countries close to Afghanistan, in order to make sure that we won’t have additional flows in Europe.
He added: “We managed to avert it and we will continue with the same policy in the future.”
At the G7 virtual summit, the EU is expected to announce a quadrupling of aid to Afghanistan, jumping from €50million to €200million.
This comes after the doubling of UK humanitarian aid spending and the announcement of one of the most generous resettlement schemes in British history.
This programme will be one of the most generous in British history and is set to relocate up to 20,000 vulnerable Afghans.
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12:55 Extension of Afghanistan evacuation deadline unlikely, says Wallace
It is unlikely the deadline to evacuate people from Afghanistan will be extended beyond 31 August, defence secretary Ben Wallace has said.
Mr Wallace told BBC Breakfast the UK would like more time and “every day we get after that would be a big bonus”.
But the Taliban has ruled an extension out, saying any extension would be a “clear violation” of its deal with the US.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to ask US President Joe Biden for an extension of the 31 August deadline when he chairs a virtual G7 meeting this afternoon.
12:23 EU to quadruple humanitarian aid to Afghans
The European Union will quadruple humanitarian support for Afghans in and around their country from around €50million to over €200million, according to the head of the EU’s executive Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
“This humanitarian aid will come on top of member states’ contributions to help the people of Afghanistan,” Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter, adding that she would announce the additional support at a G7 summit later in the day.
The aid will be conditional on the respect of human and women’s rights, according to an EU official, who said this would determine how much money would flow into Afghanistan directly or into neighbouring regions.
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