A plane carrying Kabul evacuees is seen at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, Britain, August 16, 2021. UK MOD ? Crown copyright 2021/Handout via REUTERS
Britain will launch a new resettlement scheme for Afghans who are most in need of help, especially women and girls, after the Taliban seized control of the country, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce.
British soldiers are working amid chaotic scenes in Kabul to help evacuate UK nationals and those Afghan citizens who worked for the British government, after thousands descended on the airport in a bid to flee the country.
Johnson says international partners need to come together to help prevent a humanitarian crisis, after he pulled Britain's remaining troops out of Afghanistan following the U.S. withdrawal by President Joe Biden.
"The UK team in Afghanistan is working around the clock in incredibly difficult circumstances to help British nationals and as many others as we can get to safety as soon as possible," a spokesperson for Johnson's Downing Street office said on Monday.
Britain's government has been criticised in the past by opposition politicians, aid agencies and some members of the judiciary for failing to take in what they say is enough refugees during earlier migrant crises in Europe.
The government is now expected to set out plans for a resettlement scheme for Afghanistan that will be separate from the UK's asylum system, his office said. It is likely to be similar to a programme that brought Syrians from refugee camps to Britain.
The government spokesman said Johnson was also working to rally the international community to prevent a humanitarian crisis engulfing Afghanistan.
"That means providing whatever support we can to the Afghan people who have worked so hard to make the country a better place over the last 20 years and who are now in need of our help," the spokesperson said.
Johnson plans to host a virtual meeting of leaders from the Group of Seven nations in the coming days to discuss how to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a source of international terrorist threats, and how to support the people there.
He spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday and plans to speak to other world leaders in the coming days.
Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Peter Cooney
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