UK’s Johnson plans virtual G-7 leaders meeting on Afghanistan

Banking & Finance

LONDON (REUTERS) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson intends to host a virtual meeting of G-7 leaders to discuss the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, his office said on Monday (Aug 16), as the government stepped up efforts to evacuate nationals from Kabul.

Johnson told French President Emmanuel Macron in a call that he planned to host a Group of Seven meeting in the coming days and the two leaders agreed that Britain and France should work together at the United Nations Security Council, including on a possible joint-resolution.

Western governments are discussing how to handle the situation in Kabul where thousands of civilians desperate to flee Afghanistan have descended on the airport after the Taleban seized the capital.

Britain, which had initially committed 600 members of the armed forces to evacuate British nationals and former British staff, will shortly have 900 troops in Kabul.

Further personnel will be deployed in the region and be able to move to Afghanistan quickly if needed, the Ministry of Defence said.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also told reporters on Monday that the government could impose sanctions and withhold aid on Afghanistan if needed, depending on the conduct of the Taleban.