Canada ‘racing against the clock’ as Biden defies pleas to extend Afghan evacuation – National
The United States will “have to be the last to leave” Afghanistan, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan confirmed Wednesday, which means Canada will have to “draw down” its own troops by that time, too.
“We would have liked to have stayed beyond the 31st deadline, but as you know this decision has been made by the Americans,” Sajjan said.
“We will try to evacuate as many people until that time comes”
Canada has confirmed its largest evacuation from Afghanistan to date, with 535 people crowding on board of a plane that left the Kabul airport on Tuesday.
“Canada has significantly accelerated the speed with which we have been able to get people out of Afghanistan,” said Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino, who is seeking re-election.
“As of yesterday, on August 24th, we evacuated 535 people, which is the largest number of people on a single forces flight to date.”
The announcement comes after U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he will stick to his Aug. 31 deadline for withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan, despite urging from allied leaders to extend the evacuation effort. The decision came as the Taliban warned they viewed the deadline as a “red line.”
— More to come
— With files from Reuters
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