The latest on Afghanistan:
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan says US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the country’s foreign minister to discuss the way forward in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s swift takeover.
In the ministry’s statement on Tuesday, Shah Mahmood Qureshi is quoted as saying over the phone to Blinken that “an inclusive political agreement is the best way forward” to overcome the current political impasse.
Qureshi said Pakistan would work closely with the US and other international partners to promote efforts in support of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
The latest development comes hours after Pakistan’s political and military leadership called for a political settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan.
The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan two weeks before the US was due to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war. Defiant US President Joe Biden stands by his decision to end America’s longest war.
The US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 ousted the insurgents from power, but they never left.
After flashing across the country in the past few days, the western-backed government that has ruled the country for 20 years collapsed. Afraid for the future, Afghans rush to the airport, one of the last ways out of the country.
CANBERRA, Australia – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his government will not be able to evacuate as many Afghans from Kabul as he wanted.
Australia is sending three transport and air-to-air refueling planes with 250 military personnel to repatriate more than 130 Australians and their families from Afghanistan.
Australia also wants to evacuate hundreds of Afghans who worked as interpreters for Australian troops and diplomats, among other things.
Morrison said he was optimistic that Australia’s evacuation operation would be successful despite Taliban control in Kabul.
“I want you to know that we will continue to do all we can for those who have supported us,” Morrison said in a message to 39,000 Australian military personnel who served in Afghanistan.
He added that “the support will not do everything it should”.
Foreign Secretary Marise Payne said “several hundred” Afghans who had worked for Australia remained in Afghanistan. Australia has relocated since April 430.
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