Afghanistan live updates: Europe's nations admit 'impossible' to end evacuations by deadline
The Afghanistan crisis will dominate discussions at Tuesday's virtual G7 meeting, hosted by the UK, as the rush continues to try to complete evacuations from Afghanistan.
European leaders are expected to press US President Joe Biden to extend his self-imposed August 31 deadline for the total withdrawal of American troops. The Taliban said on Monday that such a move would be a "violation".
The UK, Germany and Spain have all said on Tuesday that it will be impossible to complete evacuations from Kabul in time.
Western nations are trying to bring out thousands of foreign nationals as well as Afghans who worked for or otherwise supported the American-led NATO operation.
The G7 leaders also have to deal with a growing refugee crisis, the collapse of the Afghan government, fears of human rights under the Taliban, and fears of a resurgence in Afghan-based terrorism.
- The UK, France and Germany have all said evacuation operations should continue beyond August 31. President Biden has said the military is discussing the possibility; a decision is expected on Tuesday.
- Senior government ministers from the UK, Germany and Spain have all said they cannot bring out in time all those eligible for evacuation from Kabul. France has also said a delay is needed to complete operations.
- The Taliban has warned that the US and allies will face "consequences" if they stay past the deadline.
- The UN's human rights chief has cited reports of severe abuses in areas under Taliban control.
- Boris Johnson also expected to call on G7 leaders to reinforce their support for Afghan refugees and humanitarian aid, as well as develop a long-term strategy for the country.
Evacuated Afghan arrested in France for suspected Taliban linksMeanwhle UK Defence Secretary answers similar reports as the Home Office makes denials.READ MORE on the story mentioned in an earlier post:
euronewsOne of the five Afghans placed under surveillance after being repatriated to France has been taken into custody, the French government has announced. Meanwhle UK Defence Secretary answers similar reports as the Home Office makes denials.
German soldier aiding Afghans slams withdrawal
A German army officer trying to help at-risk Afghans flee their country launched a blistering rhetorical attack on Germany's evacuation efforts on Tuesday.
Cpt. Marcus Grotian told reporters in Berlin that he was "overwhelmed by disbelief at the way Germany's governing parties and politicians disregarded warnings" about the Taliban advance and accused Chancellor Angela Merkel's office of failing to step in when needed.
Grotian, who heads a network of volunteers trying to help locals who worked for German institutions in Afghanistan, said some 6,000 Afghans are still waiting to be evacuated and many likely won't make it.
"There will be many, too many human tragedies to come. That's absolutely clear," he said.
Grotian accused German officials of creating a dysfunctional bureaucracy that is making incomprehensible decisions about who can board evacuation flights and who can't.
He said the mixed messages being sent to Afghans by German bureaucrats would likely mean some will miss other opportunities to leave the country because they are still waiting for Germany to evacuate them.
"Everyone who has worked for Germans must now be let through, because there won't be many more chances," said Grotian. "They've been rejected three times, some of them four. There may not be a fifth when the planes don't fly anymore."