UK PM To Call On G7 Leaders To Step Up Support For Afghan people

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be calling on G7 leaders to step up support for Afghan people after the war-torn country fell into the hands of the Taliban last week, said British High Commission in India on Tuesday through an official statement.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair a G7 Leaders’ meeting this afternoon to continue to stand by the Afghan people and step up support for refugees and increase humanitarian aid.
Chairing the meeting, he is expected to urge international partners to match the UK’s commitments on aid and the resettlement of those who need it the most, in order to protect human rights and contribute to the stability of the region.

Leaders are also expected to reiterate their commitment to safeguarding the gains made in Afghanistan over the last 20 years – in particular on girls’ education and the rights of women and minorities, said British High Commission release.

Discussions are set to cover ongoing collaboration on evacuation efforts at Kabul airport and longer-term work to secure a more stable future for Afghanistan and ensure any new government is inclusive and abides by its international obligations.

Ahead of the meeting, Johnson said, “Our first priority is to complete the evacuation of our citizens and those Afghans who have assisted our efforts over the last 20 years – but as we look ahead to the next phase, it’s vital we come together as an international community and agree a joint approach for the longer term.”

“That’s why I have called an emergency meeting of the G7 – to coordinate our response to the immediate crisis, to reaffirm our commitment to the Afghan people, and to ask our international partners to match the UK’s commitments to support those in need,” added Johnson.

He further reiterated that together with its partners and allies, UK will continue to use every humanitarian and diplomatic lever to safeguard human rights and protect the gains made over the last two decades.

“The Taliban will be judged by their deeds and not their words,” said the UK PM.

Taliban in their first press conference after taking control of Afghanistan said the rights of women will be “respected with the framework of Islamic law”. During the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, brutal floggings, amputations and public executions were commonplace.

Women were largely confined to their homes and the death penalty was in place for offenses including female adultery, homosexuality and the rejection of Islam.

The meeting will take place by video conference and the NATO and UN Secretaries-General have also been invited to join the discussion, added the release.

Earlier this week PM Johnson set out his five-point plan for addressing the risk of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

The plan has five parts — immediately helping those to whom we have direct obligations; protecting ourselves against any threat from terrorism; supporting Afghan people in the region through humanitarian and development assistance; creating safe and legal routes to resettle Afghans in need, and developing a clear plan for dealing with the new Afghan regime in a unified and concerted way.

The meeting of G7 leaders comes after Johnson chaired a meeting of the Civil Contingencies Committee (COBR) on Monday afternoon where ministers discussed the latest situation in Afghanistan.

As of the morning of Monday, the UK had secured the evacuation of almost 6,000 people out of Kabul since Operation Pitting began last week, which includes British Nationals and their dependants, embassy staff, and Afghan nationals under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) programme.

The UK has already doubled the amount of humanitarian aid to the region, committing up to Pound 286 million with immediate effect, and last week a new bespoke resettlement scheme was also announced.

This programme will be one of the most generous in British history and is set to relocate up to 20,000 vulnerable Afghans, said the release. (ANI)

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