Biden expected to decide Afghanistan deadline soon

With thousands of Afghans and foreigners still scrambling to leave Kabul, U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to decide on extending a looming deadline for evacuations as early as Tuesday.

That's according to an administration official who spoke to Reuters on Monday, and two U.S. officials have said it is likely Biden will continue evacuations beyond August 31.

Beyond the need to remove thousands of Americans, citizens of allied countries, and Afghans who worked with U.S. forces, Department of Defense officials say it would still take days to fly out the 6,000 troops deployed to aid the evacuation.

House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff said Monday he did not believe the evacuation would be completed by August 31.

"I think it's possible but I think it's very unlikely given the number of Americans who still need to be evacuated."

Some Biden advisers have argued against extending the self-imposed deadline for security reasons.

Meanwhile, Britain and France are among those calling for the deadline to be eased.

A Taliban official said foreign forces had not yet sought an extension, and it would not be granted if they did.

Washington said negotiations were continuing.

So far, the U.S. has facilitated the removal of roughly 48,000 people, but U.S. officials told Reuters that almost everything would have to go perfectly to remove every American citizen from Afghanistan by August 31, citing concerns about U.S. citizens reaching the airport, terrorist attacks and complicated processing times.

Biden could signal his intentions at a virtual meeting of the Group of Seven nations on Tuesday.

There, G7 leaders are expected to put up a united front on whether or not to recognize or sanction the new Taliban government.

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