- Title: Macron says France in talks with Taliban, Qatar over further Afghan evacuations
- Date: 28th August 2021
- Summary: BAGHDAD, IRAQ (AUGUST 28, 2021) (REUTERS) FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE MACRON DURING NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON, SAYING: "We are currently having discussions, which are very fragile and preliminary, that is why I am being very careful in my answer to you, but yes discussions have begun with the Taliban on the issue of humanitarian operations and the ability to protect and repatriate Afghans who are at risk. And, yes, we are working alongside with Qatar to allow those operations to proceed. Because Qatar, in the frame of the discussions they are having with the Taliban, has the possibility - and I speak with caution - to organise air operations, or to reopen certain air routes in conditions of security which remain to be defined and that's why I'll remain cautious, but which would allow evacuation operations in conditions which would of course be different and in a frame which would of course be negotiated with the Taliban and in particular with operations of securing operations by the Taliban." MACRON DURING NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON, SAYING: "Whatever the Americans decide, we will maintain our presence to fight against terrorism in Iraq, as long as the terrorist groups will be in operation and as long as the government of Iraq requests this help, these are our two and only conditions. We have studied it and I can say that we have the operational capacity to ensure this presence, whatever the Americans decide." NEWS CONFERENCE ENDING / MACRON LEAVING
- Embargoed: 11th September 2021 17:15
- Keywords: Iraq Islamic State Macron se curity
- Location: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- City: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Middle East,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001ES716X3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday (August 28) that France was holding preliminary discussions with the Taliban in Afghanistan about the humanitarian situation in the country and the potential evacuation of people at risk.
Macron, speaking at a news conference in Baghdad where several Middle Eastern leaders were attending a summit, said France was also working with Qatar on scenarios to re-establishing a pathway for evacuations, although nothing was yet certain and it was unclear how this would work.
U.S. military forces, who have guarded the airport in Kabul, are due to withdraw by a Tuesday deadline set by President Joe Biden, leaving a vacuum. The French government said on Friday (August 27) it had now finished its evacuation operation from Kabul under that framework, but would continue to help those who needed protection to depart Afghanistan.
Macron also said France would keep troops in Iraq as part of anti-terrorism operations for as long as the Iraqi government needs, whether or not the United States decides to withdraw.
(Production: Manuel Ausloos, Lucien Libert)
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