G-7 Allies to Press U.S. to Extend Afghanistan Presence
US allies are expected to pressure President Joe Biden on Tuesday to prolong US evacuation operations in Afghanistan past the August 31 deadline. The pressure will come despite warnings from the Taliban that they will not tolerate the continued presence of international forces after the final day of the month. The UK has convened an emergency meeting of the Group of Seven advanced economies to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan and debate whether to prolong the evacuation operations. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also seeking a method for a united approach to the country and the Taliban regime for the long term.
The UK is currently holding the rotating presidency of the G-7. Western officials have stated the Taliban are seeking international recognition of their takeover as well as foreign aid, both points of leverage that could be used to extract concessions from the group as the US and its key allies race to evacuate their own citizens and vetted Afghan allies amid complete chaos at the Kabul airport. Although the airport is still controlled by US troops, it has been difficult to conduct evacuation attempts, according to international forces, and some conflict has occurred. Thousands of people are still awaiting flights to flee the country. The Taliban are also seeking to avoid new sanctions that could worsen the country’s finances.