The move could see the British government responding to calls from activists to international leaders for a response to the refugee crisis that will likely follow the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai – who was shot in the head by the extremist group in 2012 after enraging them with her campaign to educate girls – has become the latest prominent figure to push for all countries open their borders to Afghan refugees amid re-emergence of Taliban.
Register now to our newsletter Policy
Register now to our newsletter Policy
Number 10 said the prime minister would provide more information on the resettlement program in the coming days, with the program expected to focus on helping the most needy Afghans, especially women and girls.
Afghans climb on top of a plane while waiting at Kabul airport in Kabul. Photo: Wakil Kohsar / AFP via Getty Images
The push comes as the SNP has called for a four-nation summit with the British government to discuss the resettlement of refugees amid the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.
The strength of the British armed forces in Afghanistan must be increased to 900 as pressure to remove British nationals and some Afghans from the country has intensified since the Taliban took Kabul.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said: ‘The British team in Afghanistan are working around the clock under incredibly difficult circumstances to help British nationals and as many others as we can to safety as soon as possible.
“At the same time, we are bringing the international community together to prevent a humanitarian crisis from emerging in Afghanistan – it is in everyone’s interest not to let Afghanistan fail.
British servicemen before boarding an RAF Voyager aircraft at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, as part of a 600-man British force sent to assist in the rescue operation of British nationals in Afghanistan, pictured Sunday
“It means providing all possible support to the Afghan people who have worked so hard to make the country a better place for the past twenty years and who now need our help. “
Officials have said Mr Johnson is actively engaged in high-level international talks on the ongoing crisis, including using Britain’s G7 presidency to convene a virtual meeting in the “days to come”.
He wants G7 leaders to ensure that Afghanistan does not again become a source of international terrorist threats, No 10 said.
There will also be an effort to secure support for the Afghan people, including through increased humanitarian assistance and acceptance of the expectations of any government that emerges in Afghanistan.
Downing Street wants the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) – which, along with the UK, includes the US, China, France and Russia – meet after the plenary meeting that took place on Monday.
Following the Prime Minister’s phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, in which he raised the prospect of a G7 meeting, the UK and France are expected to work together on a joint UN Security Council resolution United.
The Scottish Greens had separately called on the Scottish government to use its Humanitarian Emergency Fund to help fleeing Afghans leaving the country as the Taliban continue to advance.
Militia soldiers entered Kabul on Sunday after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, apparently to Uzbekistan.
Crisis in Afghanistan: Boris Johnson will chair the third Cobra meeting as the situation worsens …
Calling the ongoing collapse of the Taliban-held regime “one of the greatest foreign policy failures” of modern times, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has attacked the Tories.
Calling on the UK government earlier on Monday to work with decentralized countries to open safe routes for the resettlement of those fleeing the country, Mr Blackford said the country should welcome more refugees as the crisis escalates.
He said: “The appalling situation in Afghanistan is one of the greatest foreign policy failures of modern times – and the UK government bears its share of the blame.
“Scotland stands ready to play its full role in resettling refugees and addressing the humanitarian crisis. It is essential that the UK government work with decentralized governments and show leadership, including opening our doors and providing safe routes for resettlement.
“Canada has already pledged to resettle over 20,000 vulnerable Afghans, including women leaders, human rights activists and journalists. There is no doubt that the UK must also commit to showing leadership on this scale.
“The Conservative government’s cuts to international aid must be reversed and the UK must play a leading role in funding and supporting humanitarian efforts to save lives, promote peace and protect human rights, by particularly those of women and girls, with a specific fund dedicated to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
“The immediate priority must be to do all we can to protect lives, but over time there must also be a chance to examine how the UK’s involvement in Afghanistan has gone so badly. The UK government must embark on a future judge-led investigation into the war in Afghanistan to ensure scrutiny, accountability and lessons learned. “
The comments came as the Scottish Greens called for the commitment of funds to help those fleeing the war-torn country.
In 2016, the Humanitarian Emergency Fund was established to help reduce the threat to life and as of February, £ 340,000 was made available to support vulnerable people affected by conflict in the region from Tigray in Ethiopia.
In October last year £ 100,000 was donated to Save the Children from the fund to help people affected by severe flooding in Niger, and £ 300,000 was released following the Beirut explosion in September from last year.
Writing to Angus Roberston, External Affairs Secretary Maggie Chapman and Ross Greer said the SNP government should do “whatever it can”.
Ms Chapman said: “The images and stories from Afghanistan are heartbreaking. We must open our hearts and our doors to those in need of safety, and the Scottish Greens support the Prime Minister’s call for the UK government to accept more refugees.
“It is clear that the Scottish Government must do everything possible to help these people who are fleeing for their lives. “
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are deeply concerned about the risks to the lives of civilians.
“We urge the UK government and the international community to urgently consider how civilians, especially women, girls and those seeking refuge, can be protected. We are in talks with our humanitarian partners on what more can be done to support those in need. “
“As we have done with the refugees from Syria, the Scottish government is ready to play its full role and do everything possible to help those in danger. “
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading this article. We depend on your support more than ever, as the change in consumption habits caused by the coronavirus is having an impact on our advertisers.
If you haven’t already, consider supporting our trusted and verified journalism by purchasing a digital subscription.