The United States and other Western countries are committed to leaving Afghanistan within one week, on August 31. US President Biden confirmed this in a televised address, having previously informed the G7 countries of this matter.
Biden said the operation in and around Kabul airport is becoming more and more dangerous by the day. He also confirmed that the number of evacuees per day is increasing. “At this rate, we can be ready by August 31. But that depends on the cooperation of the Taliban and whether they allow people to come to the airport.”
The US president does not rule out the possibility of somehow evacuations from Afghanistan after the deadline. “I have asked the Departments of Defense and State to prepare contingency plans if necessary to adjust the schedule,” Biden said in the letter.
“Staying longer isn’t a problem, it’s playing with fire,” says Washington reporter Lucas Wagmeister. “There are thousands of people at that airport. The risk of a military confrontation there in the coming weeks or days is very high.”
The Americans still have 6000 soldiers in Afghanistan, as well as heavy equipment. “The military commander says they need a few more days to get that,” Wagmeister says. “Pause a few days from that and it will be ready for civilians still in Kabul sometime next Friday.”
Thousands of people are waiting
Earlier in the day, the Taliban held another press conference in which the extremist group made it clear that it does not accept a longer stay than the Americans and that as far as the matter is concerned, Afghans will not leave the country at all from now on. .
“Time is running out. Some thousands of people are not even in Kabul, let alone the airport,” says reporter Alita Andrei from New Delhi. “There are also Dutch people waiting at home to get a message when they can go to the airport. They are of course very worried about this deadline.”
For example, for interpreters and other Afghans who have committed themselves to NATO countries, the question is whether they can make it to the airport at all, now that the Taliban seems to be closing the door completely.
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