G-7 leaders can’t sway Biden to delay Afghanistan withdrawal
Islam News – The United States clashed with some of its closest allies over President Joe Biden’s insistence on sticking to an Aug. 31 Afghanistan withdrawal date that will shut down a frantic international evacuation effort from Taliban rule.
Biden insisted after virtual talks with leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized democracies Tuesday that the U.S. and its closest allies would “stand shoulder to shoulder” in future action over Afghanistan and the Taliban, despite disappointing them in their urgent pleas now to allow time for more airlifts.
The U.S. president was adamant that the risk of terror attacks was too great to accede to appeals from G-7 leaders to keep what are now 5,800 American troops at Kabul’s airport beyond the end of the month, anchoring the airlifts.
A senior French official, speaking anonymously in accordance with the French presidency’s customary practices, said President Emmanuel Macron had pushed for extending the Aug. 31 deadline but would “adapt” to the American sovereign decision. “That’s in the hands of the Americans,” he said.
In a partial show of unity, G7 leaders agreed on conditions for recognizing and dealing with a future Taliban-led Afghan government, but there was palpable disappointment Biden could not be persuaded to extend the U.S. operation at the Kabul airport to ensure that tens of thousands of Americans, Europeans, other third-country nationals and all at-risk Afghans can be evacuated.
The meeting of the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S. served not only as a bookend to the West’s 20-year involvement in Afghanistan that began as a response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks but also a resigned acknowledgment from European powers that the U.S. calls the shots.
Source: AP NEWS