Britain to convene G7 meeting on Afghanistan

International

LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will convene a meeting of leaders from the Group of Seven nations on Tuesday for “urgent talks on the situation in Afghanistan.”

In a statement posted on Twitter, Johnson said it is “vital that the international community works together to ensure safe evacuations, prevent a humanitarian crisis and support the Afghan people to secure the gains of the last 20 years.”

The U.K. holds this year’s presidency of the G-7 nations, which is also made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

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MOSCOW — Russia’s president has criticized Western nations for seeking to temporarily house Afghan refugees in Central Asian countries, citing security concerns for Russia.

Speaking at a meeting with top officials of the Kremlin’s United Russia party on Sunday, Vladimir Putin blasted what he described as a “humiliating approach” by Western states.

The Russian president noted that there are no visa restrictions between Russia and its Central Asian allies, and said that Moscow doesn’t “want militants appearing (in Russia) again under the guise of refugees.”

“We don’t want to repeat, even in part, something what we had in the 90s and in the mid-2000s, when there were hostilities in the North Caucasus,” Putin said.

Thousands of people in Afghanistan have been looking for ways to leave the country after the Taliban took control of Kabul in a swift power grab, seeking to escape what they see as a return to ruthless fundamentalist rule. Hundreds have headed to the Central Asian nations of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, which share a border with Afghanistan.

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