The Latest: Pakistan urges ‘inclusive’ deal with Taliban
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that an inclusive political settlement is the best way forward for peace and stability in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover. Pakistan fully supports efforts in that direction, he added.
According to a foreign ministry statement, Shah Mahmood Qureshi made the remarks in a phone call with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, about the situation in Afghanistan.
The statement says Qureshi told Lavrov that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of critical importance for Pakistan and the region. It said Qureshi informed Lavrov about Pakistan’s outreach to regional countries for consultations on the challenges arising out of developments in Afghanistan.
The statement quoted Qureshi as also saying that Pakistan is facilitating the evacuation of foreigners stranded in Afghanistan. Qureshi is expected to leave for Uzbekistan later Tuesday on a visit during which he will also travel to Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Iran to discuss Afghan developments.
MORE ON THE CRISIS IN AFGHANISTAN:
— At-risk Afghans fearing Taliban hunker down, wait to leave
— G-7 grapples with Afghanistan, an afterthought not long ago
— Taliban takeover prompts fears of a resurgent al-Qaida
— US troops surge evacuations out of Kabul but threats persist
— Deadly gunfire at airport; Taliban insist on US pullout date
— UK struggles for influence as Afghan crisis strains US ties
— Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/afghanistan
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide says the evacuation deadline in Afghanistan should be extended beyond Aug. 31.
“One of a main concern is that the airport will be closed,” Eriksen Soereide told Norwegian broadcaster TV2 on Tuesday morning. “The civilian part is closed now, so we are completely dependent on the US military operation being maintained in order to be able to evacuate.”
She spoke as a plane with 157 people who had been evacuated from Afghanistan landed in Oslo. So far Norway has evacuated 374 people from Afghanistan.
“There is no guarantee that we will be able to help all Norwegian citizens who want assistance this time around,” she told Norway’s other broadcaster NRK, adding Norway will continue the evacuation as long as the airport in Kabul is open.
In neighboring Sweden, Foreign Minister Ann Linde said that she too could not guarantee that they can help all those who want to get out.
CANBERRA, Australia — Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said that Australia has helped evacuate more than 1,600 people from the Kabul airport in 17 flights since last Wednesday.
“We have achieved this by working very closely with the United States and the United Kingdom, among other nations,” Andrews told Parliament on Tuesday.
The evacuated people include Australian citizens, Afghan nationals who had worked for the Australian government during the 20-year conflict and other countries’ nationals. The Australian government has not said how many people it planned to evacuate from Afghanistan.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison had earlier said Australian and New Zealand officials had evacuated more than 650 people from the airport over Monday night.
Morrison said that five flights had left the airport in the busiest day of Australian involvement in evacuations since the Taliban took control of the country. One of the flights was a New Zealand military aircraft.
Morrison told Nine Network television that the evacuated people included Australians, New Zealanders and Afghans.