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LONDON: British Foreign Secretary Dominic Robb on Sunday urged US officials to extend the August 31 deadline for the evacuation of people stranded in Afghanistan.
After the Taliban’s capture of the capital, Kabul, a week ago, the British newspaper The Independent reported that British Armed Forces Minister James Hebe “asked his colleagues in Washington to give the people more time to leave Afghanistan.”
The British newspaper quoted an unnamed NATO official as saying that about 20 people had died near Kabul airport last week, where large crowds had gathered to flee the country.
In the same context, Tobias Elwood, chairman of the Security Council in the House of Commons, questioned the so-called special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States.
According to The Independent, the UK is “not included in the negotiations for the withdrawal of US troops; This led to the Taliban taking over the country.
Kabul airport is temporarily controlled by about 4,500 U.S. troops, and about 900 British troops are patrolling the area as part of an effort to protect foreigners and their Afghan counterparts.
The BBC reports that Taliban militants have set up checkpoints around the airport to prevent entry into Afghanistan without travel documents.
In recent weeks, the Taliban has been able to extend its control across all borders, and on August 15, the movement’s militants entered the capital, Kabul, and took control of the presidential palace, while President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, saying the United Arab Emirates had done so “to prevent a massacre.”
The restriction comes in the wake of billions of dollars spent over 20 years by the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to build Afghanistan’s defense forces.
Taliban control has implemented an agreement issued by Qatar to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, which is scheduled for completion by August 31.
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