G7 foreign ministers have said they are “deeply concerned” by reports of the Taliban’s violent reprisals in Afghanistan, following the extremist group’s takeover of the country.
Following a call between the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US – chaired by UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab – the world’s leading democracies reiterated their call for the “international community to come together” to prevent the current crisis in Afghanistan from escalating further.
The meeting is part of an international scramble to respond to the Taliban’s capture of Afghanistan, which swiftly followed the pull-out of Western troops after 20 years in the country.
The virtual meeting of foreign ministers on Thursday preceded a planned virtual meeting of G7 leaders early next week – which will be held at least seven days after Afghanistan’s capital Kabul was seized by the Taliban.
Since the group’s dramatic capture of the country’s capital, European leaders have struggled to hide their frustration with US President Joe Biden’s stance on the situation.
Mr Raab, who chaired Thursday’s call while facing demands for his resignation over his own handling of the Afghanistan crisis, released a statement after the meeting.
“The G7 ministers underlined the importance of the Taliban holding to their commitments to ensure the protection of civilians and are deeply concerned by reports of violent reprisals in parts of Afghanistan,” he said.
“The G7 are continuing efforts to do everything possible to evacuate vulnerable persons from Kabul airport and call on all parties to continue to facilitate that.
“The G7 ministers called for the Taliban to guarantee safe passage to foreign nationals and Afghans wanting to leave.
“G7 ministers also discussed the importance of close and effective cooperation among us in order to allow evacuations from Kabul.
“G7 ministers discussed the importance of the international community providing safe and legal resettlement routes.
“They concurred that the Taliban must ensure that Afghanistan does not become host to a terrorist threat to international security.”