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Charles Michel Calls for Wider G7 Engagement and International Action in Support of Afghan People

Charles Michel Calls for Wider G7 Engagement and International Action in Support of Afghan People

US President Joe Biden's refusal to extend the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan beyond his self-imposed deadline of Tuesday next week was a point-blank rejection of calls from G7 and European leaders.

They had appealed for US forces to be kept on at Kabul airport for longer, despite the Taliban's insistence that evacuation flights must end by August 31.

Bereft of US support, Washington's allies pledged to continue trying to get people out and help Afghans who are left behind. But they had already admitted it will be impossible to complete the process in time. Over the past 10 days thousands of foreign nationals and Afghans with connections to Western organisations have been airlifted out of the country. But for thousands more, desperate to flee the Taliban, the exit is barred.

Europe's leaders vowed to continue trying to help the Afghan people -- although without any military presence, exactly how is a moot point -- and prepare the ground for an eventual influx of refugees heading west.

"It is our moral duty to help the Afghan people and provide as much support as conditions allow," EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter. Charles Michel, President of the European Council representing national leaders, tweeted to say the evacuation of foreign and local staff remained an "immediate priority". He called for "wider G7 engagement and international action in support of Afghan people". He also focused on security, citing the need to prevent the "resurgence of terrorism".

"Cooperation with countries in the region will be key in supporting the safety and proper living conditions of Afghans fleeing their country," he tweeted. "We are determined to keep migratory flows under control and EU's borders protected."

Source: Euronews



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