Johnson to call on G7 to step up support for Afghans

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Boris Johnson will chair the G7 meeting and is expected to ask the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US to match the UK’s commitment to relocate 20,000 Afghan refugees and contribute $392 million in humanitarian aid amid the crisis in the region, reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to call on the Group of Seven (G7) leaders to step up their support for the Afghan people at the group’s emergency meeting on Afghanistan.
Leaders of the G7 will meet through video conferencing on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing situation in Afghanistan. British prime minister will chair the meeting and is expected to ask the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US to match the UK’s commitment to relocate 20,000 Afghan refugees and contribute USD 392 million in humanitarian aid amid the crisis in the region.

“Our first priority is to complete the evacuation of our citizens and those Afghans who have assisted our efforts over the last 20 years – but as we look ahead to the next phase, it’s vital we come together as an international community and agree a joint approach for the longer term,” said Johnson ahead of the meeting.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is also set to participate in Tuesday’s G7 meeting on Afghanistan.
“The Secretary-General has been invited to participate in the G7 special virtual summit on Afghanistan,” the United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Monday.
“His message will be focused on the need for unity in the international community as we keep the interests of the Afghan people front and center.”
Besides G7, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, UK’s Minister for Human Rights, and the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, will virtually address the UN Human Rights Council and hold urgent discussions with humanitarian partners about the situation in Afghanistan.
The UK’s Minister for Human Rights will make a statement on Tuesday morning at an emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council focusing on Afghanistan.
The Taliban entered Kabul last week after a lightning offensive which resulted in the collapse of the Ashraf Ghani government. Since the Taliban’s ascent to power, thousands of Afghans are seeking to exit the country for fear of reprisals from the terrorist group.


‘Hours not weeks’ for final UK flights

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the UK has “hours now, not weeks” to evacuate people from Afghanistan, the BBC reported.
He said troops would leave Kabul’s airport when the US withdrew, which is due to happen on 31 August.
“I don’t think there is any likelihood of staying on after the United States,” Wallace said. “We are really down to hours now, not weeks. We have to make sure we exploit every minute to get people out.”
But Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said it would not support a deadline extension. He said an extension would mean extending Afghanistan’s occupation, and warned of consequences if that were to change.
The Ministry of Defence said 7,109 individuals had been evacuated from Afghanistan on UK flights since 13 August.
Boris Johnson had spoken to US President Joe Biden, before G7 summit, saying they had “committed to driving international action” to “stabilise the situation”.
They also agreed to continue working together to ensure that people eligible to leave can do so “including after the initial phase of the evacuation has ended”.
Earlier, No 10 said the UK would continue its evacuation process “as long as the security situation allows”
No-fly evacuee flown to UK

A person from Afghanistan on the UK’s no-fly watchlist was flown into Birmingham as part of the evacuation of Kabul, government officials confirmed, according to reports.
The individual, who was identified as being on the watchlist on arrival in the UK, was later not deemed a person of interest after investigation, the BBC reported.
The Home Office said the person was flagged in a “rigorous checks process”.

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