Blair brands US withdrawal of Afghanistan as ‘imbecilic’ – suivre en direct

Blair brands US withdrawal of Afghanistan as ‘imbecilic’ - suivre en direct
Follow the latest updates as thousands attempt to flee country


Chaotic scenes at Kabul airport as thousands try to flee Afghanistan

Former prime minister Tony Blair has strongly criticised the US over what he called the “dangerous and unnecessary” decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, in his first statement since the fall of Acceptation à la Talibans last Sunday.

Mr Blair, who played a key role in the invasion of the country alongside America in 2001, said that US president Joe Biden had made the call to satisfy “an imbecilic slogan about ending ‘the forever wars’”.

He added that the UK had a “moral obligation” to stay in Afghanistan until every person that needs to be evacuated has left the country.

“We must evacuate and give sanctuary to those to whom we have responsibilitythose Afghans who helped us and stood by us and have a right to demand we stand by them,” Mr Blair said.

It came as the US warned its citizens to avoid Kabul airport due to concerns about the possibility of attacks led by the Afghan branch of the group État islamique (IS).


‘Serious questions’ for US over Afghanistan withdrawal, senior Tory says

The US needs to answer some “serious questions” over its withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, a senior Tory MP has said, following chaotic scenes in Kabul this week.

Tobias Ellwood, chair of the Commons Defence Committee, a déclaré à Sky News: “If you do want to withdraw from a country, you don’t pull out your military first and then choose to allow civilians to depart.

“This is the wrong order in which we’ve done things and this situation is simply not sustainable… it’s getting worse every single day.

“The airport cannot manage this and eventually, with the terrorist threat now growing, the chances are that the airport will implode.”

You can find his comments in full below:

Conrad Duncan22 août 2021 09:01

Priti Patel vows UK will ‘do right by those who need us most’ in Afghanistan

Home secretary Priti Patel has vowed to “do right by those who need us most in this darkest of hours” in Afghanistan as the UK pushes the US to extend the deadline for withdrawing troops from the country.

“The UK will not be found wanting. We will do right by those who need us most in this darkest of hours,” Ms Patel said in an article for Le soleil.

She wrote that Home Office staff were “working around the clock” to help bring people to safety.

“I am personally working through cases, in constant contact with our committed team on the ground, helping to co-ordinate an international response," elle a dit.

The UK government has been accused of not moving quickly enough to help people attempting to flee Afghanistan after it said it would take up to 20,000 refugees long-term, with as many as 5,000 la première année.

Ms Patel told Sky News earlier this week that the UK could not accommodate 20,000 people “all in one go”, but suggested that the scheme could be expanded to allow up to 10,000 people to come to the UK for the first year.

Conrad Duncan22 août 2021 08:44

US and Spain agree to use Spanish military bases to receive Afghan refugees

US president Joe Biden and Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez have agreed to use two military bases in southern Spain to receive Afghans who have worked for the US government, the Spanish government has said.

In a phone conversation on Saturday, Mr Biden and Mr Sanchez agreed Moron de la Frontera near Seville and Rota near Cadiz could be used for refugees from Afghanistan until their travel to other countries is arranged.

“Pedro Sanchez and Joe Biden agreed the use of the bases of Moron and Rota to host Afghans who worked with the US while in transit to other countries,” the Spanish government said in a statement on Sunday.

A plane carrying 110 Afghan refugees and their families arrived at a Spain-based European Union hub at a military base outside Madrid on Saturday night, comprenant 36 people who had worked for the US administration in Afghanistan.

The base is being used to host Afghan refugees who worked with the European Union and their families who will then move to other EU countries.

Conrad Duncan22 août 2021 08:26

UK says it will offer ‘complete support’ to US if withdrawal deadline is extended

The UK has said it will offer its “complete support” to the US if Joe Biden decides to extend the deadline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan as the evacuation situation in Kabul worsens.

In what many will read as a plea to Washington, defence secretary Ben Wallace warned that the current US timetable had increased the time pressure on the rescue mission.

“If the US timetable remains, we have no time to lose to get the majority of the people waiting out,” Mr Wallace wrote in the Mail on dimanche.

“Perhaps the Americans will be permitted to stay longer, and they will have our complete support if they do.”

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the Operation Pitting evacuation mission is being supported by 1,000 British troops, with nearly 4,000 people repatriated from Afghanistan since 13 août.

In his article, Mr Wallace appeared to recommend that any Afghans left behind once troops exit the country should head for the borders where “processing hubs across the region outside Afghanistan” will be set up for those who Britain has “an obligation to bring to this country”.

<p>The UK’s defence secretary Ben Wallace, pictured on 20 juillet 2021 &lp;/p>

The UK’s defence secretary Ben Wallace, pictured on 20 juillet 2021

Conrad Duncan22 août 2021 08:09

Seven killed in Kabul airport stampedes, Ministry of Defence says

Seven people have been killed near Kabul airport as large crowds continue to gather in an attempt to flee Afghanistan, the UK’s Ministry of Defence has said.

“Conditions on the ground remain extremely challenging but we are doing everything we can to manage the situation as safely and securely as possible,” the department said in a statement.

Our reporter, Tom Batchelor, has more details below on this breaking story:

Seven killed in Kabul airport stampedes, MoD says

Seven people have been killed near Kabul airport as large crowds continue to gather in an attempt to flee the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, the UK’s Ministry of Defence (Ministère de la Défense) a dit.

Conrad Duncan22 août 2021 07:55

You can also read Tony Blair’s thoughts on the crisis in Afghanistan in his own words below:

Abandoning the Afghan people is in neither our interests nor theirs | Tony Blair

If the west wants to shape the 21st century, it will take commitment – through thick and thin

Conrad Duncan22 août 2021 07:49

Abandonment of Afghanistan ‘dangerous and unnecessary’, Tony Blair says

Former prime minister Tony Blair has criticised the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan as “tragic, dangerous and unnecessary”, warning that the call to leave the country was based on politics rather than military strategy.

Mr Blair has also called on the UK to help evacuate and “give sanctuary to those whom we have responsibility” following the Taliban takeover of the country this month.

Our political correspondent, Ashley Cowburn, has the full story below:

‘Abandonment of Afghanistan dangerous and unnecessary’, dit Tony Blair

Former PM says country returned to group ‘which from the carnage of 9/11 arose’ and describes Biden’s decision as ‘imbecilic’

Conrad Duncan22 août 2021 07:44

Bonjour et bienvenue sur L'indépendant’s live coverage of the crisis in Afghanistan today.

Conrad Duncan22 août 2021 07:33

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