Britain pushes G7 for new economic sanctions on Taliban

Britain plans on collaborating with world leaders to consider imposing new sanctions on the Taliban, which took control of Afghanistan following the disorderly exit of US troops from the country.

The G7 is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan, said sources.

Earlier on Sunday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who currently leads the group called for the virtual meeting.

Britain believes sanctions should be imposed on the Taliban given their gross human rights abuses. Britain is also keen to see that Afghanistan does not become a breeding ground for terrorists, said a British government official on the condition of anonymity.

When US President Joe Biden was asked if the Taliban had committed abuses, Biden said, “The answer is yes. It depends on the conduct.”

“It is vital that the international community works together to ensure safe evacuations, prevent a humanitarian crisis and support the Afghan people to secure the gains of the last 20 years,” tweeted Johnson.

According to a western diplomat, it is unlikely that sanctions against the Taliban are likely to be adopted immediately.

Biden, who has come under fire at home and abroad for his handling of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, said, G7 leaders would work out a joint approach to the Taliban. He has already held bilateral talks with leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

According to a report from the British media, Johnson plans on pushing the extension of the August 31 deadline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan so that more people can be evacuated.

On Sunday Biden said, such a scenario was in the discussion phase and hope it would not be necessary.

He went on to add, the United States would extend the deadline if asked to do so by its G7 allies.

On Sunday, the U.S. military ordered commercial aircraft to help evacuate people from Afghanistan.

Last week, Biden had said, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken would work with other countries to set “harsh conditions” for any cooperation with or recognition of the Taliban, based on their treatment of women and girls and overall human rights record.

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