Britain in talks with Taliban over further evacuation from Afghanistan


Downing Street confirmed that the British government is in talks with the Taliban in Qatar to ensure a “safe passage” from Afghanistan for the British people and Afghans who have worked with the United Kingdom.

“Simon Gass, the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for the Transition to Afghanistan, visited Doha to meet with the Taliban’s senior representative to highlight the importance of a safe passage from Afghanistan, which has worked with the British people over the last two decades. I’m emphasizing it for a few years, “said No. 10 spokesman late Tuesday.

The UK has evacuated more than 15,000 people from Afghanistan, including 8,000 vulnerable Afghanistan, after the Taliban was taken over.

However, Defense Minister Ben Wallace estimated that up to 1,100 eligible Afghans could not be evacuated before all NATO troops withdrew earlier this week.

Some British citizens are also left behind. Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said on Tuesday that their number was “less than a few hundred.”

Downing Street said it is increasing staff in countries adjacent to Afghanistan to help evacuate those left behind.

“We are increasing the number of neighboring countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other staff to support it,” said an official spokesman for the Prime Minister.

The Foreign, Commonwealth Office (FCDO) has announced that it will have 15 crisis response specialists in Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Officials will arrive within the next 48 hours to help British diplomats work to help people escape Afghanistan across the border and reach Britain. ..

Rab acknowledged that Britain has evacuated more than 15,000 people from Afghanistan in the last two weeks, but the government “cannot evacuate everyone who wants to leave and is eligible for UK support.” He said he was doing it.

“We support them and work with partners in neighboring countries to support future trips to the UK,” he said.

The government has launched an Operation Warm Welcome designed to help Afghans rebuild their lives in the United Kingdom.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain owed “huge debt” to those who worked with British troops in Afghanistan. “We are determined to provide them and their families with the support they need to rebuild their lives here in the UK,” he said.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Interior announced that Afghans working with the British Government and the Armed Forces would be granted immediate “indefinite stay” or permanent residence in the United Kingdom.

PA contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan