UK and Taliban hold discussions on future evacuations

The discussions, which involve UK officials and top Taliban members, are taking place in Doha, Qatar, according to No 10.

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UK and Taliban hold discussions on future evacuations

The United Kingdom is in discussions with the Taliban to ensure safe passage out of Afghanistan for a handful of British people and Afghans who are still in the country. The discussions, which involve UK officials and top Taliban members, are taking place in Doha, Qatar, according to No 10.

The defense secretary is understood to have told MPs that between 150 and 250 people eligible for relocation – plus their families – remain in the country. It comes after the Taliban promised to let more exits.

Commenting on the UK-Taliban negotiations, a No 10 spokesman said: “The prime minister’s special representative for Afghan transition, Sir Simon Gass, has traveled to Doha and is meeting with senior Taliban representatives to underline the importance of safe passage out of Afghanistan for British nationals, and those Afghans who have worked with us over the past 20 years.”

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will be grilled by MPs later today on his handling of the UK’s departure from Afghanistan. Opposition parties demanded his resignation last month when it was revealed that he was unavailable to make a phone call regarding evacuating interpreters while on vacation in Crete.

Mr. Raab later stated that “in retrospect,” he would not have gone away, but disputed the notion that he was “lounging on the beach” as “nonsense.”

Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy, said Mr. Raab had “far more than the turmoil of the last two weeks” to answer, adding, “The foreign secretary had 18 months to prepare but was absent in action.”

Downing Street has stated that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has “complete confidence” in Mr. Raab and that there are “no plans” to replace the Cabinet.

According to a Downing Street statement, they would “underline” the significance of Afghan people being allowed safe passage out of the country, implying that the conversations may be about the urgency of the problem rather than practicalities. Mr. Raab said on Tuesday that the UK has evacuated more than 17,000 individuals from Afghanistan so far, including over 5,000 British nationals.

He also stated that the UK must confront the “new reality” in Afghanistan and collaborate with other nations to have a “moderating effect” on the Taliban.

Sir William Patey, the former British ambassador to Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012, stated that working with the Taliban may help prevent a refugee catastrophe and keep the nation from becoming a safe haven for terrorists.

“[The Taliban] know they can’t manage this nation without aid,” he told BBC Newsnight, adding that the UK was playing “some cards” in the negotiations because “they’re going to have to engage.”Following the withdrawal of US soldiers, the Taliban declared victory in Afghanistan, with militants pouring into Kabul airport on Tuesday. Over the weekend, British troops left the nation. The insurgents have agreed to enable anyone with authorization to leave the country, and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has committed to “hold the Taliban to their word.”

However, the UK’s ambassador to the UN, Dame Barbara Woodward, stated that they would be evaluated “on the basis of their deeds on the ground, not their words.”In addition to the Taliban negotiations, the UK government announced the deployment of 15 “crisis response professionals” to Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to help British diplomats in their efforts to allow individuals to reach the UK. They are intended to focus on assisting UK nationals, translators, and other Afghans employed by the UK, as well as Afghans, deemed most vulnerable.

(Source- BBC)

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UK and Taliban hold discussions on future evacuations
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The discussions, which involve UK officials and top Taliban members, are taking place in Doha, Qatar, according to No 10.
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THE POLICY TIMES
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