G-7 affirms need to swiftly evacuate foreigners from Afghanistan

Aug 20 , 2021. 7 hours ago – 02:25 KYODO NEWS

TOKYO – Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven industrialized nations affirmed Thursday the urgent need for safe and immediate evacuation from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan for any remaining foreigners and others who wish to leave the country, and pledged to work together closely in dealing with the crisis.

Following the online G-7 meeting, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters, “We will closely monitor the situation in Afghanistan as we hope the country will not return to fierce Islamic rule like in the past.”

Asked if Japan will recognize diplomatically the new Afghan government led by the Taliban, which took control of the capital Kabul and many other major cities, Motegi said Tokyo will carefully assess the policy of the Islamist militant group in light of respect for human rights including the treatment of women.

But Motegi declined to reveal whether there was any debate about if the G-7 nations should recognize the Taliban administration.

The emergency meeting of the foreign ministers was apparently aimed at sharing concerns and setting an agenda among the G-7 countries to pave the way for their virtual summit meeting planned for next week, following an agreement by Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. President Joe Biden to hold such talks.

Britain holds this year’s presidency of the G-7.

Motegi participated in the online ministerial talks from Jordan as he is on a tour of the Middle East which also includes visits to Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Turkey, Iran and Qatar.

Earlier in the day, Motegi met with his Jordan counterpart Ayman al Safadi and they agreed on the two countries’ close cooperation toward ensuring the latest developments in Afghanistan will not further destabilize the international community, the Japanese minister said.

The G-7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States as well as the European Union.