BORIS Johnson’s plea for Joe Biden to extend the evacuation mission in Afghanistan will fall on deaf ears, ministers fear.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace today warned the US is “unlikely” to budge from the August 31 deadline to withdraw its troops from Kabul.
An RAF evacuation flight in Kabul[/caption]
Evacuees land in Britain after being airlifted from Afghanistan[/caption]
Boris Johnson will today beg Joe Biden for an extension[/caption]
The PM, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel will use a virtual G7 meeting this afternoon to beg President Biden to stay longer.
Thousands are being airlifted from the Taliban-seized capital every day – but ministers have admitted not everyone will make it out before the cut-off.
The White House has signalled it won’t extend its rescue operation beyond the end of the month.
Taliban leaders have warned “there will be consequences” if the Western forces don’t leave on time.
Mr Wallace 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.
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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.
Joe Biden is unlikely to budge from the August 31 deadline[/caption]