G-7 calls for international 'shared mission' to limit Afghan crisis

US soldiers stand guard as Afghan people wait to board a US military aircraft to leave Afghanistan, at the military airport in Kabul on Aug 19, 2021.
US soldiers stand guard as Afghan people wait to board a US military aircraft to leave Afghanistan, at the military airport in Kabul on Aug 19, 2021.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Group of 7 (G-7) foreign ministers urged the international community on Thursday (Aug 19) to unite in its response to the crisis in Afghanistan to prevent it from escalating, British foreign minister Dominic Raab said in a statement.

Taleban militants seized control over the weekend in an upheaval that sent thousands of civilians and Afghan military allies fleeing for safety.

Many fear a return to the austere interpretation of Islamic law imposed during the previous Taleban rule that ended 20 years ago.

“The G-7 Ministers call on the international community to come together with a shared mission to prevent the crisis in Afghanistan escalating,” said Raab’s statement after a meeting of G-7 foreign ministers.

Britain currently holds the rotating leadership of the G-7, which also includes the United States, Italy, France, Germany, Japan and Canada.

“The crisis in Afghanistan requires an international response including intensive engagement on the critical questions facing Afghanistan and the region: with the Afghans most affected, parties to the conflict, the UN Security Council, the G-20, international donors, and with Afghanistan’s regional neighbours,” the statement said.

Britain said on Wednesday it would double its humanitarian and development aid to Afghanistan to 286 million pounds (S$530 million) this year.

Separately, Raab said late on Thursday that Britain and Turkey were working together in Afghanistan to ensure evacuations continue safely. He thanked Turkey for its commitment to safeguarding the Kabul airport alongside British troops.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Raab in a call that the world should guide and support Afghanistan as it moves to a new government instead of putting more pressure on it.