Breaking News: Britain ‘Not Going To Bring’ Everyone Out of Kabul
LONDON – Britain said it had evacuated 8,600 British and Afghan citizens from Kabul in recent days, including 2,000 in the past 24 hours.
But Defense Secretary Ben Wallace conceded that “we’re not going to get everyone out of the country” until the US-led mission ends on August 31.
Britain and other allies are pressuring President Joe Biden to extend the evacuation beyond the month-end date agreed with the Taliban. But Wallace told Sky News that Biden was unlikely to agree.
The government said one of the evacuees from a British plane turned out to be a person on a UK no-fly list. Wallace said the individual identified on arrival in Britain had been investigated and found “not a person of interest” to the security services.
MORE ON THE CRISIS IN AFGHANISTAN:
– Afghans at risk fearing Taliban squatting, waiting to leave
– The G-7 grapples with Afghanistan, an afterthought not so long ago
– Taliban takeover raises fears of al-Qaeda resurgence
– US troops step up evacuations out of Kabul, but threats persist
– Deadly shots at the airport; Taliban insist on US withdrawal date
– UK fights for influence as Afghan crisis strains relations with US
– Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/afghanistan
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS:
BERLIN – Prominent Afghan women’s rights activist Zarifa Ghafari has arrived in Germany with members of her family.
Ghafari landed at Cologne / Bonn airport on Monday evening after fleeing Afghanistan to Pakistan last week.
Armin Laschet, governor of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia who met Ghafari, said it was important to help as many women as possible to leave Afghanistan in the coming days, the agency reported. german press release dpa.
Ghafari became mayor of the Afghan town of Maidan Shahr in 2018, at the age of 26.
She received the 2020 International Women of Courage Award from the US Department of State. According to the State Department, she survived at least six assassination attempts.
GENEVA – The Swiss Foreign Office has announced that a charter flight has arrived in Zurich with 219 people evacuated from Afghanistan on board.
The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said the flight from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, landed Tuesday morning, carrying 141 Afghans who worked with the Swiss Department of Development and Cooperation in Afghanistan or their families and relatives.
78 other people from Afghanistan, Germany and Sweden were also on board.
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that an inclusive political settlement was the best way forward for peace and stability in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover. Pakistan fully supports efforts in this direction, he added.
According to a foreign ministry statement, Shah Mahmood Qureshi made the remarks during a phone call with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, about the situation in Afghanistan.
The statement said Qureshi told Lavrov that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of crucial importance to Pakistan and the region. He said Qureshi briefed Lavrov on Pakistan’s outreach to countries in the region for consultations on challenges arising from developments in Afghanistan.
The statement quotes Qureshi as also saying that Pakistan is facilitating the evacuation of foreigners stranded in Afghanistan. Qureshi is expected to leave for Uzbekistan later Tuesday for a visit during which he will also travel to Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Iran to discuss Afghan developments.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide has said the evacuation deadline in Afghanistan should be extended beyond August 31.
“One of the main concerns is that the airport will be closed,” Eriksen Soereide told Norwegian television station TV2 on Tuesday morning. “The civilian part is closed now, so we are completely dependent on the maintenance of the US military operation to be able to evacuate.”
“There is no guarantee that we will be able to help all Norwegian citizens who need help this time around,” she told the other Norwegian broadcaster NRK, adding that Norway evacuation will continue as long as Kabul airport is open.
In neighboring Sweden, Foreign Minister Ann Linde said she also couldn’t guarantee they can help anyone who wants to get out.
CANBERRA, Australia – Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said Australia has helped evacuate more than 1,600 people from Kabul airport in 17 flights since last Wednesday.
“We have achieved this by working closely with the United States and the United Kingdom, among other countries,” Andrews told Parliament on Tuesday.
Those evacuated include Australian citizens, Afghan nationals who had worked for the Australian government during the 20 years of conflict and nationals of other countries. The Australian government has not specified how many people it plans to evacuate from Afghanistan.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had earlier said that Australian and New Zealand officials evacuated more than 650 people from the airport overnight Monday.
Morrison said five flights left the airport during the busiest day of Australia’s involvement in the evacuations since the Taliban took control of the country. One of the flights was a New Zealand military aircraft.
Morrison told Nine Network television that evacuees included Australians, New Zealanders and Afghans.