The Prime Minister, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have so far failed to convince President Biden to extend the August 31 deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. More than 50,000 people have been rescued from the Taliban takeover in the past 10 days. Speaking this afternoon, Mr Johnson said the G7 has set out a plan to “engage with the Taliban” and set a condition to allow refugees to flee Afghanistan “through August 31 and beyond”. He said: “What we have done today at the G7 is we have got together the leading Western powers and agreed not just a joint approach to dealing with the evacuation, but also a road map for the way in which we’re going to engage with the Taliban, as it probably will be a Taliban government in Kabul.
“The number one condition we’re setting as G7 is that they have got to guarantee, right the way through, through August 31 and beyond, safe passage for those who want to come out.
“Some will say that they don’t accept that and some, I hope, will see the sense of that, because the G7 has very considerable leverage – economic, diplomatic and political.”
President Biden is so far sticking to his decision to withdraw troops in seven days’ time but is understood to have explored the possibility of a short extension during talks with G7 leaders.
Almost 6,000 US troops have been deployed to Afghanistan to help with the rescue mission from Kabul airport.
Earlier today, Taliban chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid rejected any possibility of an extension to the evacuation period in Afghanistan.
EU leaders are particularly concerned about a major migration wave from Afghanistan as people desperately flee the much-feared Taliban rule.
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Following the meeting Mr Johnson said the UK “will go right up until the last minute” to rescue Afghans.
He said: “We will go right up until the last minute that we can but you’ve heard what the President of the United States has said, you’ve heard what the Taliban have said.”
He added: “We’re confident we can get thousands more out, but the situation at the airport is not getting any better.”
Mr Johnson added leaders had agreed the “number one condition” after August 31 was that the Taliban must grant “safe passage for those who want to come out”.
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