Britain plans to push world leaders to consider new sanctions on the Taliban when the G7 meet on Tuesday to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan, sources told Reuters.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who currently leads the group that includes the United States, Italy, France, Germany, Japan and Canada, called on Sunday for the virtual meeting, in the wake of the Taliban’s swift takeover of Afghanistan.
Britain believes the G7 should consider economic sanctions and withhold aid if the Taliban commits human rights abuses and allows its territory to be used as a haven for terrorists, one British government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said on Sunday.
Taliban terrorists seized control of Kabul last weekend in an upheaval that sent civilians and Afghan military allies fleeing for safety. Many fear a return to the austere interpretation of Islamic law imposed during the previous Taliban rule that ended 20 years ago.
“It is vital that the international community works together to ensure safe evacuations, prevent a humanitarian crisis and support the Afghan people to secure the gains of the last 20 years,” Johnson said on Twitter on Sunday.
Sanctions against the Taliban are unlikely to be adopted immediately, one Western diplomat said. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab first raised the possibility of sanctions to pressure the Taliban last week.
Biden, under fire at home and abroad for his handling of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, told reporters last week that G7 leaders will hammer out a joint approach to the Taliban and has held talks with Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks on Afghanistan at the White House on Sunday afternoon. The US military earlier on Sunday said it had ordered commercial aircraft to help transport people who have already been evacuated from Afghanistan.
Biden told reporters on Friday that he and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken would work with other countries to set “harsh conditions” for any cooperation with or recognition of the Taliban, based on their treatment of women and girls and overall human rights record.