UK Armed Forces at Kabul Airport

Afghanistan: Biden Suggests 10-Day Deadline For Evacuation Mission

UK Armed Forces at Kabul Airport

President Joe Biden has signalled that US efforts to rescue American citizens from Afghanistan could wrap up at the end of the month. 

In a press conference on Friday, Mr Biden was asked whether he thought the US could get all Americans out of Afghanistan by 31 August, to which he replied: "I think we can get it done by then, but we're going to make that judgment as we go."

It is likely that British troops will also have to work to a similar timeline, as ministers have warned that the UK would struggle to continue with their current mission, Operation Pitting, to evacuate British nationals and eligible Afghans without the support of the US forces in securing and running Kabul airport.

UK Armed Forces at Kabul Airport Processing Evacuees
UK Armed Forces processing evacuees at Kabul airport (Pictures: MOD).

This comes as Boris Johnson held an emergency Cobra meeting to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. 

When asked by a reporter after the meeting whether ministers had been blindsided by not running their own analysis on what withdrawing from Afghanistan looks like, the Prime Minister said: "We went into Afghanistan to support and help protect the United States.

"So when the United States decides emphatically to withdraw in the way that they have, clearly, we're going to have to manage the consequences.

"But, as I've said, the commitment of this government to doing what we can – and it's a lot – to help the people of Afghanistan, and to address the humanitarian crisis, the refugee crisis, that commitment is lasting," he added.

NATO also held an emergency meeting yesterday with foreign ministers from the 30-nation alliance to assess the chaotic situation in Afghanistan and co-ordinate efforts to extract their nationals and key local staff from the country.

Some allies called on the United States to secure Kabul airport for as long as it takes to remove all foreign nationals and Afghans entitled to settle overseas, even if that stretches beyond the evacuation of all US nationals. 

If you or someone you know needs support at this time, you can find more information by visiting the British Army website and the Government's website.

Further details about support available can be found on our website.

Cover image: MOD.

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