Taliban being pressured to keep airport open after 31 August

The Taliban is being urged to “facilitate safe passage” for Afghans wishing to leave after 31 August, either through the airports or via land borders, UK Armed Forces Minister James Heappey says.

He said neighbouring countries and the international community are “putting pressure on the Taliban to not close their borders and to not deny Afghans who are fearful for their lives the opportunity to leave the country”.

Heappey said he was hopeful the Taliban would agree to this because “they don’t want to be an international pariah. They have a network internationally, they have people around the region with whom they have relationships.

“It feels to me as if they would want to have that connectivity from Kabul. Now the key issue is how they control access for the average Afghan to the airport and to flights.”

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