BORIS Johnson tonight admitted defeat that his plea for evacuations to continue from Afghanistan beyond August 31 has been rejected.
The PM failed to convince Joe Biden to keep US forces in Kabul at an emergency virtual G7 meeting this afternoon.
Boris Johnson arriving back in Downing Street following the G7 summit[/caption]
President Biden on the G7 call this afternoon[/caption]
Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel speak on the virtual G7 summit[/caption]
But the leaders did agree a list of demands they want the Taliban to obey – including safe passage out of the country beyond the end of the month.
Britain has made clear it cannot remain in the Taliban-seized country without the military might of the Americans.
Thousands are being airlifted from the capital every day – but ministers have admitted not everyone will make it out before the cut-off.
Taliban leaders have warned “there will be consequences” if the Western forces don’t leave on the August 31 deadline agreed with the US.
The PM, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel used a virtual G7 meeting this afternoon to beg President Biden to stay longer.
But President Biden – who only spoke for seven minutes – refused to budge.
Speaking after the summit the PM said: “We will go on right up until the last moment that we can.
“But you you’ve heard what the President of the United States has said, you’ve heard what the Taliban have said and I think you’ve got to understand the context in which we’re doing this.
“We’re we’re confident we can get thousands more out, but the situation at the airport is not getting any better – there’s a public order issues.
“It’s harrowing scenes for those who are trying to get out and it’s tough on our military as well.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said earlier it was “unlikely” President Biden would agree to an extension.
He said: “We’re planning for the worst, but hoping for the best.”
Playing down the chances of a successful summit he told Sky News: “I think it is unlikely, not only because of what the Taliban has said but also if you look at the public statements of President Biden.
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“I think it is unlikely – but it is definitely worth a try and we will.”
He added that he’d spoken to other European counterparts who were equally “anxious” about leaving people behind.
EVERY MINUTE COUNTS
RAF planes have rescued 8,600 Brits and vulnerable Afghans since August 14, including 2,000 in the last 24 hours.
Thousands more are hoped to be evacuated this week at a rate of 2,000 per day.
The Defence Secretary insisted: “We are working every minute to try and go to the very last minute.”
The Government will not reveal when the last flight out of Kabul will be to prevent a crush at the airport for the final spots.
Soldiers in the Afghan capital can pack up and leave “in a hurry” but may have to leave some kit, Mr Wallace said.