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British Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace warned that troops and evacuees at Kabul Airport are at increasing risk of attacks as world leaders are preparing to push Joe Biden to extend the U.S.-led Afghan evacuation time beyond August 31 .
At the G7 emergency meeting, the President of the United States will hear allies including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron call for an extension of negotiations with the Taliban, although the Islamic organization said it would not accept any delays.
“As we approach the deadline, I think it is correct to say that security risks are rising,” Wallace told Sky News on Tuesday before the meeting. “It is becoming more and more dangerous because additional organizations and other terrorist organizations, such as the Islamic State, want to be seen and honored, or they want to be seen to drive the West out of the airport.”
Wallace said that world leaders will work hard to obtain an extension from the United States, but admitted that given Biden and the Taliban’s public statements, this is “unlikely.”
Biden said on Sunday that he “hoped” to comply with the US deadline and withdraw the last batch of troops from the country, and a Taliban spokesperson told the Financial Times on Monday that any delay would be a “violation.”
US National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan told reporters on Monday afternoon that the White House believes that “from now to the 31st, we have time Get out of any American [who] Want to go out”.
Sullivan added: “We are in contact with the Taliban and are discussing with the Taliban on what is currently happening in Kabul and what is happening at the airport.”
The unstable situation at Kabul Airport has highlighted the fragility of the West’s position in Afghanistan since the Taliban came to power after the initial withdrawal of US troops last week.
Tens of thousands of people are now seeking to leave the country, including foreigners and Afghans who have cooperated with Western powers in the 20-year U.S.-led operation, and many fear that they will be retaliated by the Taliban if they stay. The U.S. military reported on Monday the largest day of airlift from Afghanistan to date, with 28 U.S. flights transporting more than 10,000 people out of Afghanistan in 24 hours. But many more are still in Kabul.
Wallace said that more than 8,600 people have been evacuated in the UK since August 14, of which about 2,000 have been evacuated in the past 24 hours. “The position of the British government is that we would like to stay longer if possible,” he said in an interview with the BBC later, but he acknowledged that Britain will be bound by the decisions of the United States, the international community and the United Kingdom. Taliban.
He added that if the airport is closed and if Afghans can leave the country through other means, the UK will continue to process their refugee applications. “Our embassies in the area provide continuous services. We will strengthen these services. We will ensure that when or if people show up in any of these embassies, then we will process them very quickly and take them out of that The country goes to England.”
The UK has pledged to accept 20,000 Afghan refugees under the new resettlement plan announced last week. The British Home Office has stated that it is expected that the first 5,000 people will be relocated to the UK in the first year of the plan.