Afghan crisis: Inside crucial phonecall between Boris Johnson and Joe Biden

Calls for impeachment of President Biden over Afghanistan

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Joe Biden and Boris Johnson spoke on Tuesday evening following concerns after the President failed to contact other G7 leaders as the crisis unfolded. The Taliban takeover, which took a matter of days, marks one of the biggest American foreign policy failures in recent history.

Mr Biden has publicly blamed the Afghan Government – which the US created and funded – for failing to fight back against the Taliban.

Despite the unfolding disaster, Mr Biden did not speak to other world leaders until he had a phone call with Mr Johnson on Tuesday, causing considerable concern among his Nato allies.

The White House reported the pair spoke on Tuesday and “discussed the need for continued close coordination among allies and democratic partners on Afghanistan policy going forward, including ways the global community can provide further humanitarian assistance and support for refugees and other vulnerable Afghans”.

Downing Street reported that the US and UK “agreed on the need for the global community to come together to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan,” with Mr Johnson committing to “increased humanitarian aid to the region and resettlement of refugees.”

Boris Johnson and Joe Biden

Boris Johnson and Joe Biden (Image: PA)

Joe Biden

Joe Biden has been widely criticised for the withdrawal (Image: GETTY)

According to the statement: “The Prime Minister stressed the importance of not losing the gains made in Afghanistan over the last [20] years, of protecting ourselves against any emerging threat from terrorism and of continuing to support the people of Afghanistan.”

While specific details of the call have not been released, Government ministers have said the pair diverged on how to solve the issues in Afghanistan.

One UK minister said Mr Biden’s approach was similar to the isolationist stance taken by Donald Trump, and the continuation of the theme “should worry us all in the broadest sense.”

Describing the withdrawal as a “shocking mess”, the minister warned America’s western allies were being “caught in the crossfire” as Washington sought to refocus on issues outside of Afghanistan.

Boris Johnson and Joe Biden

Boris Johnson and Joe Biden (Image: GETTY)

Mr Johnson has been in close contact with Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel in recent days, but reports suggest Mr Biden is yet to speak with them.

An official in the Biden administration fought back against the criticism, claiming a “number” of calls had been made between Tony Blinken, US Secretary of State, and his European counterparts.

The official said: “We went [to Afghanistan] with a mission to deal with the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11, and we succeeded in that mission.

“I’d note this was done with our Nato allies, and all of our actions regarding Afghanistan have been closely coordinated with our Nato Allies.”


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Downing Street has steered clear of criticising the US President, despite sources claiming Government ministers were surprised by the tone of Mr Biden’s defence.

A senior cabinet minister said: “The US should be leading this, at the UN and the G7.

“Frankly at the moment, we are showing more leadership than them.”

The dismay has been felt elsewhere across the continent.

Boris Johnson and Joe Biden

Boris Johnson and Joe Biden (Image: GETTY)

Norbert Röttgen, the chairman of the German parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said: “German foreign policy must reorient completely after this disaster.”

“We must learn lessons with regard to the USA.

“It hurts that Biden of all people is the executor of Trump’s ugly Afghanistan policy.

“Europe must finally become more independent.”

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