UK pushes for Taliban sanctions at G7 meeting

Written by Andrew McCaskill and Andrea Shalal

LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom plans to pressure world leaders to consider imposing new sanctions on the Taliban when the Group of Seven industrialized nations meets on Tuesday to discuss the Afghan crisis, 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 the virtual meeting on Sunday, after the Taliban’s swift takeover of Afghanistan.

The United Kingdom believes the G7 should consider imposing economic sanctions and halting aid if the Taliban commit human rights abuses and allow its territory to be used as a haven for militants, according to a British government official who spoke on condition of anonymity, and another Westerner. diplomat.

US President Joe Biden told reporters on Sunday that the Taliban had not taken any action against US forces controlling Kabul airport, and that they had largely kept their promise to allow Americans to reach the airport safely.

Asked if he would support UK pressure to impose sanctions if the Taliban committed abuses, Biden said: “The answer is yes. It depends on behaviour.”

Taliban fighters seized Kabul at the end of last week in a day of unrest that sent Afghan civilians and military personnel fleeing for safety. Many fear a return to the strict interpretation of Islamic law imposed during the previous Taliban government that ended 20 years ago.

(Reporting by Andrew McCaskill in London and Andrea Shalal in Washington; Additional writing by Susan Heffy and Radhika Anelkumar; Editing by Susan Fenton, Giles Elgood, Grant McCall, Heather Timmons, and Daniel Wallis; translated by Jose Muñoz)

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