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Taliban warns of ‘consequences’ if Biden delays withdrawal of US troops

The UN warns the Taliban is going ‘door to door’ to track down those who worked with the United States or NATO in the country [Stringer/EPA]


Taliban warns of ‘consequences’ if Biden delays withdrawal of US troops


The Taliban will not consent to an extension of the Afghan evacuation mission and has warned of “consequences” if it is extended past its deadline.

Dr. Suhail Shaheen, speaking to Sky News in Qatar, called the end-of-August deadline for the complete removal of US soldiers a “red line” and claimed there was “no need” for any foreign military presence after that date.

The Taliban spokesman said: “It’s a red line. President Biden announced that on 31 August they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that.”

He added: “If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations – the answer is no. Or there would be consequences. It will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation it will provoke a reaction.”

President Joe Biden of the United States is anticipated to make a decision on whether to extend the August 31 deadline for airlifting Americans and their allies to safety as soon as Tuesday.

Boris Johnson will push US President Joe Biden at the G7 meeting on Tuesday to extend US operations in the aim of increasing the number of people evacuated from Kabul airport.


The two spoke on the phone on Monday, according to the White House: “They discussed the ongoing efforts by our diplomatic and military personnel to evacuate their citizens, local staff, and other vulnerable Afghans.

“They also discussed plans for the G7 virtual leaders’ meeting tomorrow, underscoring the importance of close coordination with allies and partners in managing the current situation and forging a common approach to Afghanistan policy.”

Meanwhile, two Taliban sources told AFP that the organization will not disclose the composition of its government or cabinet until the last US soldier has departed Afghanistan.

At least 20 people have perished at and near the airport in the last week, according to a NATO officer, as American citizens and vulnerable Afghans try to get to the facility.

“We have seen the public statements by the Taliban spokesman about their views on 31 August, I think we all understand that view,” US Department of Defense press secretary John Kirby said following the interview.

He added: “The goal is to get as many people out as fast as possible, and while we’re glad to see the numbers that we got yesterday, we’re not going to rest on any laurels.

“The focus is on trying to do this as best we can by the end of the month and as the Secretary [of Defence] said, if there needs – if we need, if he needs – to have additional conversations with the Commander in Chief about that timeline, he’ll do that but we’re just not at that point right now.”

The UK will not push for sanctions against the Taliban during the G7 video conference, but a final communique is likely to include calls for guarantees on aid delivery and respect for human rights, which are also the focus of a draft resolution for the UN Security Council that Britain and France are working on.

An Afghan man was killed and three others were injured in a morning gunfight between local guards and unknown intruders, according to the German defense ministry.

The German military claimed on Twitter that three additional individuals were hurt in the fire fight on Monday morning that also engaged German and US soldiers.

A spokesman for UK Prime Minister responded to the Taliban’s statements to Sky News, saying: “I’ve seen the reports. I don’t think we’ve had any direct communication to that end.

“We will continue to run our evacuation process as long as the security situation allows.”

He said: “It’s important to remember we are not the only people flying evacuees out.

“So it’s certainly conceivable that even without a US military footprint [in Afghanistan], that people could still be able to get out of Kabul.”

The spokesperson stated that the Taliban had conducted “discussions on the ground” about cooperating with the evacuation procedure, however it is believed that this may have mostly consisted of informal meetings with the group’s officials outside the airport.

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