G7 leaders have agreed on a shared roadmap for engaging with the Taliban, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.
Leaders from the G7 met virtually on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, over a week after the Taliban took control of the country. The call, which was convened by Mr Johnson with the UK serving as this year’s president nation of the group, was also joined by the Secretaries-General of the United Nations (UN) and NATO.
In a statement following the call, the leaders released a joint statement saying;
“We express our grave concern about the situation in Afghanistan and call for calm and restraint to ensure the safety and security of vulnerable Afghan and international citizens, and the prevention of a humanitarian crisis.
“We call for adherence to obligations under international human rights law, including the rights of women, girls, and minority groups, and that international humanitarian law is upheld in all circumstances.”
The group has said their “immediate priority” is to ensure the safe evacuation of G7 citizens and Afghans that have assisted efforts over the last 20 years, and that they will cooperate together on a coordinated approach to resettlement.
Mr Johnson has said the G7 will insist on there being a safe passage out of Afghanistan after the current deadline of 31 August, though reports have suggested the US will still pull out its remaining troops on that date. The Taliban has also said there will be no extensions to the 31 August deadline, warning of consequences if that deadline is broken.
Recent days have seen concerning scenes at the airport in Kabul, where many Afghans are still trying to flee the country. A number of people have died at the airport, according to reports, and the Taliban have told people not to travel to the airport to try and leave the country.
The UK has evacuated around 9,000 people from Afghanistan so far according to Downing Street, and Mr Johnson has said “we’re confident we can get thousands more out”.
While talks have taken place between G7 leaders to reaffirm commitments, much about the coming days and weeks remains uncertain, as does the situation on the ground for those living in Afghanistan under the new Taliban rule.