USA, Taliban meet; The evacuation interval is imminent

Early Tuesday, the White House released its latest evacuation figures from Kabul: in the 24 hours that ended at 3 a.m., around 21,600 people were evacuated. They flew on 37 US military flights – including 32 C-17s and five C-130s – with around 12,700 people and 57 coalition flights with 8,900 people.

The Biden government says this increases their evacuation number to around 58,700 people since Aug. 14.

This comes a week before the US-Taliban negotiated deadline of August 31 for full US withdrawal. On Monday, the Taliban warned that exceeding that date would create a “reaction” as it indicated the US occupation was ongoing. She emphasized this on Tuesday.

New threat:Brutal IS-K offshoot in Afghanistan poses terrorist threat to US evacuation

Taliban: “No extension” until August 31, exit deadline

A Taliban spokesman says the US must complete its evacuation of people from Afghanistan by August 31, when the Biden government has scheduled the withdrawal of all American troops.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Tuesday his group would not accept “extensions” of the deadline. He says life in the country is returning to normal, but the chaos at the airport remains a problem. Many Afghans are desperately trying to flee the Taliban takeover.

Mujahid says he knew “nothing” about a meeting between the Taliban and the CIA, but did not deny that such a meeting took place. An official said the director of the US agency met with the Taliban’s top political leader in Kabul on Monday.

– Associated press

More:Fear of a “disappearance” of the Afghan media landscape amid the Taliban takeover

Airbnb provides free accommodation to 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said Tuesday the rental logistics company would offer free accommodation to up to 20,000 refugees fleeing Afghanistan in host countries around the world.

“The displacement and resettlement of Afghan refugees in the US and elsewhere is one of the greatest humanitarian crises of our time. We feel obliged to step up, ”Chesky wrote in a series of tweets announcing the move.

The company pays for the accommodation of the Afghan refugees who are accommodated by partner hosts in cities around the world. Non-governmental organizations and regional partners who support the resettlement of refugees are also involved in the process.

Chesky didn’t say how long the refugees will be offered housing or whether the company will help with long-term relocation efforts.

The US has transported nearly 64,000 people from Afghanistan while other nations such as Canada, France and Germany and the UK have also taken in refugees.

Airbnb hasn’t specified which countries it would host refugees in, but it is active in all countries that host displaced Afghans.

The partnership isn’t the first time Airbnb has used its accommodations to help those in need. In March 2020, the company offered medical first responders and aid workers in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic at up to 100,000 locations for free accommodation.

Biden, G7 heads of state and government meet

President Joe Biden will meet with G7 leaders on Tuesday morning to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

Biden is expected to speak at that meeting and offer more updates from the White House at noon.

On Monday, press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden had had several talks with world leaders in the past few days, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Spanish President Pedro Sánchez, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“We remain in close contact with allies and partners to coordinate the evacuation of their own citizens and their senior staff and to respond to the ongoing political and security situation in Afghanistan,” said Psaki.

– Katie Wadington

Afghans walk along fences as they arrive via the Pakistani-Afghan border crossing in Chaman, Pakistan on August 24, 2021 after the military takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban.

More:For Biden, the consequences of the Afghanistan withdrawal abroad complicate the domestic agenda

Report: CIA Director Burns met secretly with Taliban leaders on Monday

WASHINGTON – Central Intelligence Agency director William Burns held a secret face-to-face meeting with incumbent Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul on Monday, US officials told the Washington Post.

The meeting has been the highest-level meeting between a Biden government official and the Taliban since the fundamentalist group took full control of the country on August 15. While running the primary intelligence agency in the United States, Burns has a longstanding background in diplomacy, which technically makes him the most experienced diplomat in President Joe Biden’s orbit.

The meeting takes place as American and Allied forces continue their swift efforts to evacuate thousands of U.S. and Allied citizens, as well as Afghans who are likely to face persecution under Taliban rule.

The CIA did not release details of the meeting.

The meeting was also an opportunity for Burns to assess the future formal leader of Afghanistan. For Baradar, who was imprisoned by the CIA for 11 years, the meeting was another opportunity to demonstrate the Taliban’s ability to act as government power and negotiating partner.

After his release from prison in 2018, Baradar held talks with the Trump administration in Qatar, which was negotiating the withdrawal of US troops from the country. At these meetings he met personally with then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who had previously also headed the CIA.

On Monday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and State Department spokesman Ned Price both confirmed that the government is in talks with the Taliban but did not provide any information on the implications of those meetings.

– Matthew Brown

Learn more:From Bush to Biden: politics that led to chaos in Afghanistan

This handout satellite image released by Maxar Technologies shows crowds of people waiting on the tarmac at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan with a C-17 transport aircraft waiting on August 23, 2021.

UN human rights body: Taliban execute women

GENEVA – The UN human rights chief warned Tuesday that she had credible reports of “summary executions” and restrictions on women in Taliban-controlled areas in Afghanistan, which fueled fears of her rule a week before US forces withdrew.

Michelle Bachelet called on the Human Rights Council to take “courageous and energetic measures” to monitor the human rights situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban’s impressive takeover to ensure that international attention for the country does not wane.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet delivers a speech at the opening of a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on Afghanistan on August 24, 2021 in Geneva Taliban came to power and said their treatment of women would make a mark

Taliban leaders have promised to restore security and tried to convey an image of moderation, but many Afghans are skeptical and are rushing to leave the country, causing chaos at Kabul international airport. Amid scattered reports, it was difficult to determine how widespread the attacks might be, and whether they reflect Taliban leaders saying one thing and doing the other, or whether local fighters are taking matters into their own hands.

The Seven Nations Group leaders plan to meet later Tuesday to discuss the burgeoning refugee crisis and the collapse of the Afghan government, amid arguments over whether the full US troop withdrawal will be extended beyond the end of the month to have more time to evacuate those desperate to leave.

– Associated press

How did we get here ?:One week US withdrawal and the Taliban retaking Afghanistan

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