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Several leaders plead to extend evacuations

Several leaders plead to extend evacuations

One week before the August 31 deadline, which should mark the departure of American troops from Afghanistan and the end of evacuation operations in Kabul, several leaders are pleading for an additional delay.

A virtual G7 summit is due in the afternoon to take stock of the evacuations from the airport in the Afghan capital, where thousands of departing candidates, terrified by the return to power of the Taliban, are still massed in harsh conditions, with the hope of flying abroad.

“It will not be enough”

Several leaders could plead with US President Joe Biden to maintain his troops beyond the August 31 deadline. This date had been set by Joe Biden himself as the date by which the final and total withdrawal of American and foreign troops from Afghanistan was to be completed.

Time “will not be enough” to evacuate from the country “all those we want to get out” warned the German Minister of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday. “Even if (the evacuation operation) lasts until August 31 or a few more days, that will not be enough,” explained Heiko Maas. An opinion shared by Amnesty International, which called on the United States and its allies not to “give up” in front of the Taliban, declared the secretary general of the NGO, Agnès Callamard, on Tuesday.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also said he was “concerned (about) the deadline. Additional time is needed to complete the ongoing operations ”. “The Americans want to get 60,000 people out by the end of the month. It is mathematically impossible ”, judged for his part the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell.

“A red line”

For their part, the Taliban have announced that the United States and its allies are exposed to “consequences” if they delay their departure from Afghanistan. “It’s a red line. President (American Joe) Biden announced that (the United States) would withdraw all of its armed forces on August 31. So if they prolong (their presence), it means that they are prolonging the occupation, when it is not necessary, ”said spokesman Suhail Shaheen.

“If the United States or the United Kingdom ask for more time to continue the evacuations, the answer is no. Or there will be consequences, ”he added. “It will create mistrust between us. If they intend to continue the occupation, that will provoke a reaction ”.

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