London: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to urge the world leaders at a virtual G-7 meeting to step up support for refugees fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Johnson will chair a G-7 Leaders’ meeting on Tuesday afternoon
He will call for an increase in aid, and promise “to use every humanitarian and diplomatic lever” to protect human rights in the country, reports the BBC.
Ahead of the meeting, Johnson has said that the first priority should be “to complete the evacuation of our citizens and those Afghans who have assisted our efforts over the last 20 years”.
“As we look ahead to the next phase, it’s vital we come together as an international community and agree on a joint approach for the longer term,” he added.
The British Prime Minister would also ask the US President Joe Biden to extend the 31 August deadline for withdrawing the troops from the war-weary country.
It comes amid a race to evacuate thousands from Kabul airport.
The UK, France and Germany have all raised the possibility of US forces staying beyond the end of August to continue the airlift, and reports suggest Mr Biden will decide within the next 24 hours whether to push back the deadline.
However, a Pentagon spokesman said on Monday the US’s focus remained “getting this done by the end of the month”.
Meanwhile, the Taliban has said that any extension would be a “clear violation” of an agreed deal.
More than 7,000 people have now been flown out of Kabul on RAF flights since 13 August — but UK ministers have been clear that British forces in Kabul cannot stay once the Americans have left.
The UK and US say they will work together to allow eligible people to leave when the current phase of the operation ends.
The UK Prime Minister and the US President had committed to “driving international action” to stabilise the situation, support the Afghan people and “work towards an inclusive and representative Afghan government”.
The UN’s Human Rights Council will also hold its own emergency session on Afghanistan on Tuesday.