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Trudeau mum on U.S. deadline to leave Kabul by Aug. 31 as he meets with G7 leaders

Trudeau is attending a special virtual meeting of the G7 leaders to discuss Afghanistan today
In this satellite photo released by Maxar Technologies, Kabul’s international airport is seen amid evacuations on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is playing his cards close to his chest on whether he wants the G7 to push for an extension of the American military commitment to Afghanistan.

Trudeau is attending a special virtual meeting of the G7 leaders today on the crisis in Afghanistan and U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to face calls from some fellow leaders to extend the U.S. military commitment to Afghanistan beyond his Aug. 31 deadline.

All Trudeau would say when asked about the issue at a federal campaign stop in Hamilton just before the virtual summit was that he was looking forward to a discussion on how to protect as many people as possible.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting the summit, and France’s Emmanuel Macron are among those calling for an extension in order to more fully evacuate all foreign nationals and vulnerable Afghans who helped the Americans and the NATO allies before the country’s recent fall to the Taliban.

Canada is one of a dozen allied countries taking part in the evacuation of people facing Taliban reprisals from Kabul’s chaotic airport, which American-led forces have secured for the time being.

Johnson has called the “urgent” summit of G7 leaders to discuss the evacuation crisis and plot longer-term engagement with Afghanistan’s new Taliban leaders, as well as dealing with humanitarian crisis for refugees.

—The Canadian Press

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