- Title: WRAP: Taliban says no evacuation extension as G7 meets on Afghan crisis
- Date: 24th August 2021
- Summary: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (AUGUST 24, 2021) (REUTERS) PEOPLE GATHERED OUTSIDE AREA NEAR AIRPORT SET UP BY NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATION (NGO) TO HELP THOSE TRYING TO LEAVE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE GATHERED OUTSIDE WALL OF AIRPORT VARIOUS OF BAGGAGE LOADED ON WHEELBARROWS, CHILDREN LOOKING ON PEOPLE GATHERED OUTSIDE AIRPORT (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) UNIDENTIFIED MAN SAYING: "There is no difference between the Taliban right now and the Taliban 20 years ago. Those in power 20 years ago killed people and I don't know when these will start (killing people). We are leaving until the situation clears." (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN SAYING: "Well there is a difference between the Taliban now and the Taliban 20 years ago because the Taliban leadership now seem to be aware, conscious, but nobody knows when the mood may change and they become the same as they had been in the past." KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (AUGUST 24, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING NEAR KABUL AIRPORT VEHICLES MOVING THROUGH CROWDED STREET (SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) MAN STANDING NEAR KABUL AIRPORT, ABDUL RAZZAQ, SAYING: "The situation at the airport is really bad. People are crowding and because of the rush of people, women and children are in a miserable condition." KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (AUGUST 24, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF ARMOURED VEHICLE WITH TALIBAN FLAG NEAR DESERTED BRITISH EMBASSY TALIBAN FLAG ON VEHICLE MOVING TRAFFIC / ARMOURED VEHICLE DRIVING VARIOUS OF MAN TOWARD AND LOOKING INSIDE CAR (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) KABUL RESIDENT, SAMEEM JAN, SAYING: "Unemployment has reached its peak. People are unemployed. Due to unemployment, everyone is fleeing their homeland, If there are job opportunities, the youth will not leave the country." VEHICLES DRIVING (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) KABUL TAXI DRIVER, ZAINULLAH, SAYING: "We urge the government to bring us peace and lower the prices for everything because the poor people cannot afford to live." VARIOUS OF VEHICLES DRIVING DOWN BUSY ROAD VARIOUS OF PLANES FLYING OVERHEAD
- Embargoed: 7th September 2021 14:41
- Keywords: Afghanistan Joe Biden Kabul Kabul airport Taliban U.S.
- Location: VARIOUS
- City: VARIOUS
- Country: Various
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA007ERN164N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A WRAP OF HIGHLIGHTS OF EDITS THAT HAVE ALREADY MOVED. THERE IS NO NEW MATERIAL IN THIS EDIT
Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers said on Tuesday (August 24) they wanted all foreign evacuations from the country completed by an Aug. 31 deadline and they would not agree to an extension.
The hardline Islamist group sought to assure the thousands of Afghans crowded into Kabul airport in the hope of boarding flights they had nothing to fear and should go home.
"The extension was unilateral, by the side of the United States...We want them to evacuate all foreign nationals by 31st August and we are not in favour of allowing Afghans to leave," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a news conference in the capital, which Taliban fighters seized on Aug. 15.
The Taliban wanted to resolve the situation through dialog, he said, and he urged foreign embassies not to close or stop work.
As he spoke, Western troops were working frantically to get foreigners and Afghans onto planes and out of the country. U.S. President Joe Biden faced growing pressure to negotiate more time for the airlift.
Chaos punctuated by sporadic violence has gripped Kabul's airport following the Taliban's rapid takeover of the country.
Thousands of Afghans continued to crowd outside of the airport on Tuesday, waiting to flee the country ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline.
"There is no difference between the Taliban right now and the Taliban 20 years ago. Those in power 20 years ago killed people and I don't know when these will start (killing people). We are leaving until the situation clears," said one unidentified man.
Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States - were due to meet virtually later on Tuesday to discuss the crisis.
In the aftermath of the the Taliban's takeover of the Afghan capital, Kabul residents on Tuesday called for jobs, peace and lower prices.
"We urge the government to bring us peace and lower the prices for everything because the poor people cannot afford to live," said Kabul taxi driver Zainullah.
Western countries continued evacuation efforts as the Aug. 31 deadline loomed. A flight of evacuees from Kabul arrived at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire in central England in the early hours of Tuesday, while another flight, carrying 250 evacuees, arrived in Belgium from Pakistan.
Countries that have evacuated nearly 60,000 people over the past 10 days were trying to meet the deadline agreed earlier with the Taliban for the withdrawal of foreign forces, a NATO diplomat told Reuters.
Biden, who has said U.S. troops might stay beyond the deadline, has warned the evacuation was going to be "hard and painful" and much could still go wrong.
(Production: Paul Warren, Hannah Ellison)
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