Washington's key allies say they need more time beyond the August 31 deadline set with the Taliban to fly out more Afghan refugees.
The Taliban has warned on Monday there would be "consequences" if the United States and its allies extend their presence in Afghanistan beyond next week, as chaos continued to overwhelm Kabul airport.
But the UK and France have insisted that they need more time beyond the August 31 deadline to ferry out Afghan refugees.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday that Paris believed it necessary to continue Afghan evacuations beyond Washington's August 31 deadline.
"We are concerned about the deadline set by the United States on August 31. Additional time is needed to complete ongoing operations," Le Drian told reporters at the UAE's Al-Dhafra air base, where France has set up an air bridge for people evacuated from Kabul.
Taliban's takeover of the country last weekend shocked Western nations, coming just two weeks before an August 31 deadline for all troops to fully withdraw from the country.
To manage the chaotic airlifting of foreigners and Afghans – many of whom fear reprisals for working with Western nations – thousands of soldiers have poured back into Afghanistan, with pressure growing on Washington to extend the deadline.
But the Taliban, who have so far sought to strike a more moderate tone, showed no willingness to compromise on the US pullout.
"If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations – the answer is no. Or there would be consequences," Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Sky News on Monday.
Staying beyond the agreed deadline would be "extending occupation", he added.
READ MORE: Taliban resistance movement claims gains in two Afghanistan districts
UK asks US to extend Kabul airlift
Britain urged the US to extend its evacuation effort in Kabul past the August 31 deadline — but conceded that if the US ignores the request, an international airlift of thousands fleeing Afghanistan will end within days.
The UK government said Prime Minister Boris Johnson would press President Joe Biden for an airlift extension at an emergency summit of Group of Seven leaders on Tuesday.
The virtual meeting has been convened by Britain, currently the president of the rich nations’ club.
British officials, however, are downplaying the chances of success.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace appeared to rule out a long US extension, but said “if their timetable extends even by a day or two, that will give us a day or two more to evacuate people.”
“Because we are really down to hours now, not weeks, and we have to make sure we exploit every minute to get people out,” he told reporters.
German and US troops evacuated
Germany has airlifted almost 3,000 people originating from 43 countries from Kabul airport, Chief of Defence Eberhard Zorn told reporters on Monday in Berlin.
Among the evacuees are 143 Germans, around 1,800 Afghans and around 350 European Union nationals, he said.
Meanwhile, the US military flew approximately 10,400 people out of Kabul over 24 hours on Sunday, and 61 coalition planes helped evacuate approximately 5,900, a White House official said on Monday.
Since August 14, the US has gotten 37,000 people out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, or helped with their evacuation, the official said
Afghan guard killed in airport gun battle
A firefight has broken out at the Kabul airport’s north gate between Afghan security forces and "unknown attackers".
One Afghan guard was killed and three others were injured in the battle early on Monday, which also involved US and German forces, the German military said on Twitter, without specifying whether the dead Afghan was one of the Taliban fighters deployed to guard the airport.
The airport has been in chaos since the Taliban seized the Afghan capital on August 15.
At least seven more were killed over the last week as desperate Afghans made a rush to leave the country now held by the insurgents who last ran the country with a hardline version of Islamic law.
READ MORE: Biden says still hoping for Afghan airlift to end by August 31
US President Joe Biden, who last week flagged the possibility of troops remaining longer, said on Sunday the security situation in Afghanistan was changing rapidly and remained dangerous.
"Let me be clear, the evacuation of thousands from Kabul is going to be hard and painful" and would have been "no matter when it began", Biden said in a briefing at the White House.
"We have a long way to go and a lot could still go wrong."
READ MORE: British military: Seven Afghan civilians killed in Kabul airport chaos
Talks on government formation
Leaders of the Taliban, who have sought to show a more moderate face since capturing Kabul, have begun talks on forming a government.
They face opposition from forces in northern Afghanistan, which said this weekend they had taken three districts close to the Panjshir valley.
Anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Massoud said on Sunday he hoped to hold peaceful talks with the Islamist movement but that his forces in the Panjshir – remnants of army units, special forces and militiamen – were ready to fight.
The Taliban said hundreds of their fighters were heading towards Panjshir, showing a video on Twitter of a column of captured trucks with the white Taliban flag but still bearing government markings moving along a highway.
READ MORE: US Air Force: Human remains found in landing gear of flight from Kabul