October 4, 2023

Intense Israeli air strikes in eastern Syria are said to have killed dozens

Update 1 – Great Britain and Germany seek a common G7 approach to dealing with the Taliban

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LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the situation in Afghanistan on Saturday, agreeing on the need for international aid and a common approach by the Group of Seven on the opinion of the future Afghan government.

In one explanation, Johnson’s office said: “The prime minister and chancellor decided to work with the rest of the G7 members to develop a roadmap for dealing with any new Afghan government discussed at the leaders’ meeting last week.”

The UK statement added that “the Prime Minister stressed that any recognition and engagement with the Taliban must be conditional on safe passage for those who wish to leave the country and respect for human rights.”

Merkel also spoke to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

His office said Merkel, Johnson and Rutte agree that regulating the departure of vulnerable citizens, local aid workers and Afghans is always a top priority.

A German government spokesman said: “The chancellor and the prime ministers also discussed possible political and diplomatic options regarding the departure of diplomatic staff, which is necessary due to the security situation.” (Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Angus McSwan and Christina Fincher)

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