23 Aug Afghanistan: UK’s evacuation effort ‘down to hours, not weeks’, defence secretary says | World News
The UK’s evacuation effort in Afghanistan is “down to hours now, not weeks”, the defence secretary has said.
Ben Wallace conceded the UK’s involvement will end when the US leaves the country, which is expected to be on 31 August.
“The prime minister is, obviously at the G7, going to try and raise the prospect of seeing if the United States will extend,” he said on a visit to Port George, near Inverness.
“It’s really important for people to understand the United States have over 6,000 people in Kabul airport and when they withdraw that will take away the framework, and we will have to go as well.
“I don’t think there is any likelihood of staying on after the United States. If their timetable extends even by a day or two, that will give us a day or two more to evacuate people.
“Because we are really down to hours now, not weeks, and we have to make sure we exploit every minute to get people out.”
A G7 leaders summit is due to take place virtually tomorrow, with Boris Johnson expected to push US President Joe Biden for an extension of the US pullout at the end of August.