US President Joe Biden is all set to hold a meeting with the Group of Seven (G7) leaders on Tuesday to discuss evacuation efforts in Afghanistan. This virtual gathering will be the first forum where Biden will be speaking to America’s allies about the fall of Kabul to the Taliban and the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan which has caused apprehension and anger amongst some of the allies.
The G7 group includes leaders from the US, the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Japan and Canada. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who will chair the meeting, told Reuters that the meet will focus on evacuation efforts in Afghanistan and long term plans for the nation after the US withdraws its troops by August 31.
Also Read: Joe Biden mulls staying beyond August 31; Taliban issue threat
The leaders will also be holding discussions on safeguarding gains made in Afghanistan in the last 20 years, especially in regards to girls’ education and women’s rights. Economic sanctions against the Taliban if they commit human rights abuses, and whether to officially recognise the Taliban as the leaders of the country will also be discussed in the meeting, diplomatic sources in the UK told Reuters.
Biden, whose administration has come under fire for the fall of Kabul, said in a press statement that the G7 forum will help the international community to arrive at a joint approach for a longer term. “Our first priority is to complete the evacuation of our citizens and those Afghans who have assisted our efforts over the last 20 years – but as we look ahead to the next phase, it’s vital we come together as an international community and agree a joint approach for the longer term,” he said.
“That’s why I’ve called an emergency meeting of the G7 – to coordinate our response to the immediate crisis, to reaffirm our commitment to the Afghan people, and to ask our international partners to match the UK’s commitments to support those in need,” he added.
The meeting will build on Biden’s calls this week to Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, and Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi, White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, told reporters on Sunday. There has been no word from the White House on the difference of opinion between America and allies regarding Biden’s decision of a hasty withdrawal. France and the UK both have urged their American counterpart to ensure that the Afghan men and women who acted as their allies in the war in Afghanistan should be evacuated along with their citizens.