British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will try to convince American President Joe Biden to extend the deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan during urgent G-7 talks, thereby continuing the evacuation after August 31, The Telegraph newspaper reports, citing sources.
Earlier, Johnson announced that he would convene urgent talks between the leaders of the G7 countries on the situation in Afghanistan on Tuesday. Subsequently, Biden said he would take part in them, stressing that the meeting would be held in a virtual format. Later, he said that he was discussing with the military a possible extension of the evacuation period. The President expressed hope that it would not be necessary to extend the deadline for the final withdrawal.
According to the newspaper, Johnson intends to personally ask Biden to postpone the withdrawal of American troops, after attempts by British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab and Defense Minister Ben Wallace to ask their American colleagues about this were unsuccessful. The ministers tried to convince the American side of the need for this step in private, the newspaper notes.
So they wanted to ease the load on the Kabul airport, where thousands of Afghans are still staying. According to the newspaper, if Biden does not make concessions, British troops will have to begin withdrawing from Kabul airport within a few days.
“The focus of the G7 meeting will be on what is happening in Afghanistan in the long term, but they will, of course, discuss the current evacuation efforts,” a source in the prime minister’s office told the publication.