U.S. President Johnson talks with Biden on Afghanistan


WASHINGTON, Aug 17 - The U.S. President Boris Johnson spoke with British prime minister Joe Biden on Tuesday about Afghanistan and they agreed to hold a virtual G-7 leaders' meeting next week to discuss a common strategy and approach, the White House said.

Two leaders discussed the need for continued close coordination among allies and democratic partners on Afghanistan policy going forward, including ways the Global Community can provide further humanitarian assistance and support to refugees and other vulnerable Afghans, the White House said in a statement.

The decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to stick with the troop withdrawal deal signed by his Republican predecessor Joe Biden has stirred widespread criticism at home and amongst allies.

The United States and Western allies resumed evacuating diplomats and civilians on Tuesday, the day after scenes of chaos at Kabul airport as Afghans thronged the runway.

As they rush to evacuate, foreign powers are assessing how to respond to the transformed situation on the ground after Afghan forces melted away in just days with what many had predicted as the likely rapid unraveling of women's rights.

A Downing Street spokesperson said in the call with Biden that Johnson stressed the importance of not losing the gains made in Afghanistan over the last 20 years, of protecting ourselves against any emerging threat from terrorism and of continuing to support the people of Afghanistan, a Downing Street spokesperson said.