Trudeau: Canada Will Push for Sanctions Against Taliban at G7 Meeting

By Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew is a reporter based in Toronto.
August 23, 2021 Updated: August 24, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will push for economic sanctions against the Taliban at the virtual meeting with leaders of the Group of Seven countries on Tuesday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for the G7 meeting to work out a response to the “humanitarian crisis” in Afghanistan, as thousands of civilians try to flee the country after the capital Kabul fell to the Taliban last week.

Trudeau told reporters on Monday that he will “absolutely” push for sanctions against the Taliban at the meeting, supporting Johnson’s plan to further clamp down on the group.

“The Taliban are already recognized under Canadian law as a terrorist entity. When we have our G7 leaders meeting shortly, we will certainly be talking about what more we can do and must do,” he said at a press conference in Halifax.

The G7 countries are Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan.

In a commentary, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair criticized Western countries for unnecessarily abandoning Afghanistan and its people and questioned whether the West has “lost its strategic will.”

“The world is now uncertain of where the West stands because it is so obvious that the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan in this way was driven not by grand strategy but by politics,” Blair wrote.

“We did it with every jihadist group around the world cheering.”

Trudeau did not respond directly when asked to comment on Blair’s remarks and on whether the United States made a mistake to withdraw its military from Afghanistan.

Trudeau said the entire focus of the Canadian government is “getting as many Afghans out to safety as possible,” adding that Canada has participated in military missions and humanitarian support to Afghanistan for many years.

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Sunday that the U.S. military was potentially considering extending the withdrawal deadline of Aug. 31, but that “our hope is we will not have to extend.”

Senior federal officials said on Monday that a Canadian C-17 Globemaster carried 436 people out of Kabul airport on Sunday night—including Canadian citizens and family members, as well as Afghan nationals accepted for resettlement by Canada.

The disclosure came during a briefing for journalists on Monday, following reports of Afghans who had previously worked as interpreters for Western military forces and news agencies who are now hiding for fear of reprisals from the Taliban.

With files from Reuters and The Canadian Press.

Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew is a reporter based in Toronto.