Biden, UK’s Boris Johnson hold call on situation in Afghanistan
President Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke on Tuesday about the security situation in Afghanistan and agreed to hold a virtual meeting with other allied leaders next week.
“They commended the bravery and professionalism of their military and civilian personnel, who are working shoulder to shoulder in Kabul on the evacuation of their citizens and Afghan nationals who assisted in the war effort,” the White House announced on Tuesday.
Johnson is the first foreign counterpart the president has spoken to since the Taliban took the capital city of Kabul on Sunday.
“They also discussed the need for continued close coordination among allies and democratic partners on Afghanistan policy going forward, including ways the global community can provide further humanitarian assistance and support for refugees and other vulnerable Afghans,” the White House said.
The White House announced the U.S. and British leaders agreed to hold a virtual Group of Seven meeting next week “to discuss a common strategy and approach.”
A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed the call between Biden and Johnson on Tuesday, saying they welcomed cooperation between the two countries in recent days to help evacuate Americans and British nationals, among others.
“The Prime Minister and President Biden agreed on the need for the global community to come together to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan,” the spokesperson announced.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan said earlier on Tuesday that Biden had not yet spoken to other world leaders. The president has been at Camp David since Friday and briefly returned to the White House to deliver remarks on Afghanistan on Monday.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has held regular calls with his own counterparts, and he spoke to China and Russia about the security situation in Afghanistan.
The world has seen images of Afghan civilians desperately attempting to evacuate the country in the news and on social media since the Taliban has overtaken the country and the government collapsed.
The Taliban quickly took Kabul on Sunday, and the insurgent group’s advance prompted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to flee.