TALIBAN militants will forfeit BILLIONS if they refuse to let people flee once the RAF airlifts end, Boris Johnson warned today.
The PM said “the lion’s share” of Brits and eligible Afghans have now been evacuated – but admitted not everyone will get out before the August 31 deadline.
Taliban fighters in Afghanistan[/caption]
He vowed to bring those left behind to Britain via third countries and laid down a marker to the insurgents.
Speaking at a military base in London the PM said: “What we’re hoping, and this is the key point that the G7 agreed, is that the Taliban understand that if they want to engage with development aid, they want to unlock those billions of funds, they want to have a diplomatic, political relationship with the outside world, then the safe passage for those who want to come out is the key precondition.”
World leaders made a list of demands to the Taliban when they met virtually on Tuesday.
Letting people leave the country is critical to the UK’s “second phase” of the rescue mission to pick up stragglers in neighbouring nations.
Evacuations from Kabul are down to their final few hours as our troops need to pack up before the Americans.
The airlift operation has also been plunged into chaos by an “imminent” ISIS terror threat.
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Officials have begged people not to come to the airport and told Brits to scramble to the Afghanistan border instead, if safe.
The PM said: “I think we have to be transparent about the risks, that we have to be realistic about what’s going on, and you’ll appreciate that there are Islamic State Khorasan province (Isis-K) terrorists out there.
“I can’t go into the details, clearly. But we have to be mindful of the security of our personnel, but also of the Afghan people who are trying to get out.”
He said 15,000 people have already been evacuated by troops.
And he added: “In the time we have left, which may be – as I’m sure everybody can appreciate – quite short, we’ll do everything we can to get everybody else.”
G7 leaders also want the new Taliban regime to stop Afghanistan becoming a haven for terrorists.
They also want the militants to uphold standards for women, children and religious minorities.