Afghanistan: Taliban wants all foreign evacuations to be completed by Tuesday deadline next week

The Taliban has said it wants all foreign evacuations from Afghanistan to be completed when US troops to withdraw from the country on 31 August and insisted there would be no extension to that deadline.

Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a news conference the Taliban is “not in favour” of allowing Afghans to leave, and said the crowds surrounding Kabul airport seeking a flight out of the country could now go home.

The leaders of the G7 – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States – were meeting today, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson among those asking President Joe Biden to consider an extension.

Mr Mujahid said: “31 August is the time given and after that it’s something that is against the agreement.

“All people should be removed prior to that date.

“After that we do not allow them, it will not be allowed in our country, we will take a different stance.”

He added that the Taliban would “guarantee” the security of Afghans and there was no list of people being targeted for reprisals.

“We have forgotten everything in the past,” he said.

This is a doubling down on the warning issued on Monday by another spokesman, Dr Suhail Shaheen.

Speaking to Sky News, Dr Shaheen said next Tuesday was a “red line”, and UK and US forces should be out of the country or there will be “consequences”.

Earlier today the UK defence secretary, Ben Wallace, told Sky News that an extension to the deadline is unlikely.

Asked if Mr Biden will extend the 31 August finishing date, Mr Wallace said: “I think it’s unlikely, not only because of what the Taliban has said but also the public statement from President Biden.

“It’s worth us all trying, and we will.”

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