As Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel use a G7 meeting to urge Joe Biden to keep the evacuation of Kabul going longer, the director of the CIA was reported to have held discussions with the country’s new de facto leader.
However, there is little sign of movement, with the Taliban repeating blood-curdling warnings of consequences if there is an attempt to cling on. ‘All people should be removed prior to that date,’ a spokesman told a press conference in the capital. ‘After that, we do not allow them. We will take a different stance.’
The thinly-veiled threat means that unless Mr. Biden opts to use US military might to enforce control of the area, troops will have to abandon the humanitarian operation and start focusing on their own exit plan as soon as tomorrow.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has warned of the danger of a ‘shooting war’ at the airport as the deadline approaches after the RAF extracted another 2,000 people in the past 24 hours.
Berlin and Paris have also been ramping up their evacuation, but there are still thousands of desperate people waiting to be taken to safety.