President Joe Biden ignored United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s phone calls for approximately a day and a half as the Taliban solidified its swift takeover of Afghanistan, according to a report.
The Telegraph reports:
The Telegraph understands Mr Johnson had been attempting to get Mr Biden on the phone to discuss Kabul falling from Monday morning. The pair eventually talked at close to 10pm on Tuesday.
The eyebrow-raising detail from the Telegraph comes amid a flurry of sharp criticism from the U.K. about Biden’s handling of the U.S. forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.
‘Shameful’ – British Backlash Against Biden’s Bungled Afghan Withdrawal https://t.co/sXJpfjJLvN
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 19, 2021
Tom Tugendhat, a member of British Parliament who chairs the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee and veteran of the Afghanistan war, made headlines for condemning Biden’s attempt to blame the former Afghan government’s security forces for the country’s collapse as “shameful.”
“Those who have never fought for the colours they fly should be careful about criticizing those who have,” Tugendhat declared during an emergency parliamentary debate.
The Telegraph’s reporting partly squares up with statements from members of Biden’s top staff. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters during a Tuesday press briefing that the president had yet to speak with world leaders since the fall of Kabul.
“He has not yet spoken with any other world leaders,” Sullivan said.
“Right now, the main issue is an operational issue,” he added. “It’s about how we coordinate with them to help them get their people out. And we are operating through logistical channels and policy channels to try and make that happen.”
In a Wednesday interview with ABC News, Biden attempted to present a united front with Western allies, saying the U.S. would soon be holding talks with fellow G-7 members to address Afghanistan.
“What we’re gonna be doing is we’re gonna be putting together a group of the G-7, the folks that we work with the most — to — I was on the phone with — with [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel today. I was on the phone with the British prime minister. I’m gonna be talking to [French President Emmanuel] Macron in France to make sure we have a coherent view of how we’re gonna deal from this point on,” the president told interviewer George Stephanopoulos.
The UPI reported on the chaos:
For the second straight day, throngs of protesters took to the streets in Afghanistan to show disapproval for the abrupt Taliban takeover, as U.S. President Joe Biden said troops may be kept there until all Americans are safely evacuated.
Officials said several people involved in the new demonstrations were killed when Taliban fighters opened fire on them in Asadabad, which is located in eastern Afghanistan about 110 miles east of Kabul.
The demonstrators were waving the Afghan national flag while celebrating the country’s independence from Britain on Aug. 19, 1919.
Multiple protesters were also killed Wednesday, UPI noted, after clashing with Taliban fighters in Jalalabad, Afghanistan’s fifth-largest city.
“Hundreds of people came out on the streets,” witness Mohammed Salim said, according to India’s News 18. “At first I was scared and didn’t want to go but when I saw one of my neighbors joined in.
“I took out the flag I have at home, Several people were killed and injured in the stampede and firing by the Taliban.”