Afghanistan: UK 'faces trouble from Russia and China' says MP
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The US President cited heightened security risks to troops as he defied calls by Boris Johnson and other G7 leaders to delay his August 31 exit date from Afghanistan. Following an emergency meeting of G7 leaders, chaired by the Prime Minister on Tuesday afternoon, Joe Biden said the US was “on pace” to meet the deadline for evacuations. Tory MP Andrew Bridgen has warned the UK will see “more trouble” from China and Russia following the crisis in Afghanistan.
Speaking to GB News, Mr Bridgen said: “What it’s going to cost now internationally is immeasurable. We’re going to end up being seen as weak, NATO seen as weak.
“We’re going to have more trouble with Russia, more trouble with China and ultimately this could be a very, very expensive mistake by Joe Biden.
“I think we’re all going to live to regret this.
“The world has become a much more dangerous place because of his actions.”
It comes after Mr Biden insisted there were “increasing risks” for his troops and their allies staying in Afghanistan beyond the end of the month.
The decision means the UK now has limited time remaining for its evacuation effort as US troops are providing security at Kabul airport to allow people to flee the country.
Mr Johnson had hoped to persuade Mr Biden to keep his forces on the ground past August 31 to allow the evacuation effort more time, although Defence Secretary Ben Wallace had conceded ahead of the talks that an extension to the deadline was “unlikely”.
Mr Johnson said after the virtual meeting that leaders had agreed the “number one condition” up to and after the deadline was that the Taliban must grant “safe passage for those who want to come out”.
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He said there were “harrowing scenes” at Kabul airport for those attempting to flee Afghanistan, adding the UK would “go on right up until the last moment that we can”.
He said while he was “confident” of getting thousands more people out of Afghanistan “the situation at the airport is not getting any better, there are public order issues, it’s harrowing scenes for those who are trying to get out, and it’s tough for our military as well”.
The Taliban has warned that evacuations “will not be allowed” after August 31, while it earlier said it would not accept foreign troops remaining in Afghanistan past the end of the month.
The group, which swept to power last week in the wake of America’s major withdrawal of troops, has suggested that foreign forces remaining past the deadline would cross a “red line” that will “provoke a reaction”.
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Mr Biden, speaking after the G7 meeting, said US and allied forces run the risk of attack by Isis affiliates and straining a “tenuous” working relationship with the Taliban if they stay in Afghanistan longer.
He told reporters: “There was strong agreement among the leaders both about the evacuation mission underway as well as the need to co-ordinate our approach to Afghanistan as we move forward.
“First, on evacuation, we agreed we will continue our close co-operation to get people out as efficiently and safely as possible.
“We are currently on a pace to finish by August 31, the sooner we can finish the better.
“Each day of operations brings added risk to our troops, but the completion by August 31 depends upon the Taliban continuing to co-operate, allow access to the airport for those who we are transporting now, and no disruption to our operations.”
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