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International Relations

Safety first:Members of the British and U.S. armed forces evacuating people at Kabul airport.AFP-  

The Taliban must “guarantee” safe passage for those fleeing Afghanistan beyond the current August 31 evacuation deadline, the G7 agreed on Tuesday, according to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Mr. Johnson, who convened the emergency meeting, said that he and his colleagues had agreed to “a road map for the way in which we’re going to engage with the Taliban” in future.

But he added that the “number one condition” was “to guarantee... through August 31 and beyond, a safe passage for those who want to come out”.

The U.K. chaired the emergency talks among the group of wealthy countries on Tuesday, saying it would urge Mr. Biden to extend his August 31 deadline to pull American forces out of Afghanistan. France also called on Washington to push back the timeline.

However, Mr. Biden decided after the G7 talks that he would stick to the deadline, U.S. media reported.

Britain’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said earlier on Tuesday it was “unlikely” evacuations from Afghanistan would be extended beyond August 31.

The G7 leaders also agreed that the Taliban would be “held accountable for their actions on preventing terrorism, on human rights in particular those of women, girls and minorities and on pursuing an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan”, according to a statement issued by Mr. Johnson’s Downing Street office.

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