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Afghanistan: US under pressure over evacuation deadline as UK, France, Germany urge Biden to extend stay
The UK, France and Germany are pressuring US president, Joe Biden to delay its withdrawal from Afghanistan to allow more time for evacuating those who want to flee the country, now that it is being controlled by Taliban militants.
US troops numbering 6000, control Kabul airport. They are scheduled to leave the country by 31 August.
But in an emergency G-7 summit hosted by the UK on Tuesday, August 24, Boris Johnson is set to discuss the issue.
France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters in the United Arab Emirates: “We are concerned about the deadline set by the United States on August 31. Additional time is needed to complete ongoing operations.”
Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he had discussed keeping Kabul airport open beyond the deadline with Nato allies and the Taliban.
This comes after Taliban on Monday warned of consequences if foreign forces remain after the deadline agreed with the US.
Reports say Joe Biden is set to decide within the next 24 hours whether to extend their stay.
The US has evacuated approximately 48,000 people since an intense airlift started on 14 August, the White House said.
Others seeking to flee remain crammed in or near the international airport in the capital, Kabul.
Many of the people fleeing live in fear of attacks from the Taliban that imposed a harsh version of Islamic law when in power from 1996 to 2001.
At least 20 have been killed in shootings and stampedes at the airport since last week. More than 10,000 were evacuated on Monday, but time is running out.
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