Afghanistan live updates: Europe's nations admit 'impossible' to end evacuations by deadline
The Afghanistan crisis will dominate discussions at Tuesday's virtual G7 meeting, hosted by the UK, as the rush continues to try to complete evacuations from Afghanistan.
European leaders are expected to press US President Joe Biden to extend his self-imposed August 31 deadline for the total withdrawal of American troops. The Taliban said on Monday that such a move would be a "violation".
The UK, Germany and Spain have all said on Tuesday that it will be impossible to complete evacuations from Kabul in time.
Western nations are trying to bring out thousands of foreign nationals as well as Afghans who worked for or otherwise supported the American-led NATO operation.
The G7 leaders also have to deal with a growing refugee crisis, the collapse of the Afghan government, fears of human rights under the Taliban, and fears of a resurgence in Afghan-based terrorism.
- The UK, France and Germany have all said evacuation operations should continue beyond August 31. President Biden has said the military is discussing the possibility; a decision is expected on Tuesday.
Senior government ministers from the UK, Germany and Spain have all said they cannot bring out in time all those eligible for evacuation from Kabul. France has also said a delay is needed to complete operations.
The Taliban has warned that the US and allies will face "consequences" if they stay past the deadline.
The UN's human rights chief has cited reports of severe abuses in areas under Taliban control.
Boris Johnson also expected to call on G7 leaders to reinforce their support for Afghan refugees and humanitarian aid, as well as develop a long-term strategy for the country.
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German soldier aiding Afghans slams withdrawal
A German army officer trying to help at-risk Afghans flee their country launched a blistering rhetorical attack on Germany's evacuation efforts on Tuesday.
Cpt. Marcus Grotian told reporters in Berlin that he was "overwhelmed by disbelief at the way Germany's governing parties and politicians disregarded warnings" about the Taliban advance and accused Chancellor Angela Merkel's office of failing to step in when needed.
Grotian, who heads a network of volunteers trying to help locals who worked for German institutions in Afghanistan, said some 6,000 Afghans are still waiting to be evacuated and many likely won't make it.
"There will be many, too many human tragedies to come. That's absolutely clear," he said.
Grotian accused German officials of creating a dysfunctional bureaucracy that is making incomprehensible decisions about who can board evacuation flights and who can't.
He said the mixed messages being sent to Afghans by German bureaucrats would likely mean some will miss other opportunities to leave the country because they are still waiting for Germany to evacuate them.
"Everyone who has worked for Germans must now be let through, because there won't be many more chances," said Grotian. "They've been rejected three times, some of them four. There may not be a fifth when the planes don't fly anymore."
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Netherlands completes 12 Kabul evacuation flights
The Dutch military has completed twelve flights using military transport planes out of Kabul to air bases in the region since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan.
Seven flights carrying more than 1,000 people evacuated from Afghanistan have arrived in the Netherlands since the Taliban seized control of the country.
The flights have carried Dutch nationals, Afghans and citizens of other countries.
On Tuesday, the government agency that houses asylum seekers opened a third center for Afghan evacuees at a military base in the central town of Ede.
Turkey has so far evacuated 1,404 from Kabul
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Turkey has so far evacuated 1,404 people from Afghanistan — 1,061 of them Turkish nationals and 343 nationals of “various countries.”
“Because of our (troops’) presence at the airport, many countries, international organizations or NGOs have asked our help in evacuating their personnel,” Cavusoglu told reporters Tuesday. “We have been providing assistance to them together with the United States and Britain.”
Cavusoglu said that there were some 4,500 Turkish nationals in Afghanistan but only around 200 are still waiting to be evacuated.
“We have contacted each one of them. ... An important number of them said they did not want to return,” Cavusoglu said, explaining that they included people who had businesses or jobs in Afghanistan or were married to Afghans.
“We of course, respect their decision but we have also made the necessary suggestions and warnings,” he said.
Afghan filmmaker warns against recognising Taliban
A week after leaving Kabul and arriving in Ukraine, prominent Afghan film director Sahraa Karimi on Monday urged world leaders not to recognize the Taliban's authority in Afghanistan.
Karimi, the head of the national cinema body Afghan Film, managed to escape Afghanistan's capital on August 15 when Taliban forces seized the city and taking control of most of the country.
The 38-year-old graduate of the Slovak Film and Television Academy asked the Academy to help her and her family to leave the country.
With the help of the Ukrainian government, she was able to board a Turkish plane and eventually arrive in Ukraine.
Speaking at the Kyiv Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen, organized by Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska on the sidelines of the Crimea Platform, Karimi called on international leaders "not to stay silent".
"I beg you, please, tell your husbands not to give them recognition," she said while sobbing on the stage.
"If they give the Taliban political recognition, if they accept them, then they will destroy our lives, women's lives," Karimi added.
The U.N. human rights chief warned Tuesday that she had credible reports of "summary executions" and restrictions on women in areas under Taliban control in Afghanistan.
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August 31 deadline 'not enough' to get everyone out -- German foreign minister
"Even if (the evacuation operation) lasts until August 31 or a few more days, it will not be enough," Heiko Maas said in an interview with Bild newspaper, again pleading for further discussions with the Taliban to ensure transfers once the army leaves.
Tuesday's G7 summit will bring together the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the US, Canada and Japan, and will take place by video link in the afternoon. The heads of NATO and the UN have also been invited.
Boris Johnson spoke by phone to Joe Biden on Monday ahead of the meeting. A statement from Downing Street said the two leaders had pledged to work together to ensure that those with the right to leave Afghanistan would be able to do so.