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Access to Kabul airport must be secured 'for as long as necessary' — EU

In this image provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, families walk towards their flight during ongoing evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul,
In this image provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, families walk towards their flight during ongoing evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Copyright Credit: AP
Copyright Credit: AP
By Euronews with AFP, AP
Published on Updated
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European leaders are pressing President Biden to extend the US troop withdrawals past the end-of-the-month deadline, although the Taliban have rejected any delay.

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European countries called on Tuesday for access to the Kabul airport to be extended for "as long as necessary".

European Council President Charles Michel told reporters after a virtual meeting of G7 leaders that EU member states raised several concerns with the US, including "the need to secure the airport, as long as necessary, to complete the (evacuation) operations".

This comes hours after the Taliban reiterated that they will not allow any extension to the August 31 withdrawal date.

A spokesman for the militant group told reporters that there would be "no extensions" to the August 31 deadline set by the US for the withdrawal of its troops. The US military currently controls Kabul airport from which evacuation flights are taking place.

Here is a round-up of key developments, follow live updates below.

In summary

  • The UK, France and Germany say evacuation operations should continue beyond August 31.
  • Senior government ministers from the UK, Germany and Spain say they cannot bring out all those eligible for evacuation from Kabul before the deadline. France has also said a delay is needed to complete operations.
  • The Taliban warns the US and allies will face "consequences" if they stay past the deadline.
  • The UN's human rights chief has cited "harrowing and credible" reports of severe abuses in areas under Taliban control, including the "summary execution of civilians."

Latest updates:

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