After China, US expressed readiness to recognize Taliban, UK struggles to take stand

August 17, 2021
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British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been speaking with both sides of his mouth following the sweeping take-over of Afghanistan weeks after the US and UK forces started pulling out of the country.

Speaking to Sky News, Raab said, “the truth is, across the world, people were caught by surprise. I haven’t spoken to an international interlocutor, including countries in the region over the last week, who hasn’t been surprised.

“No one saw this coming. Of course, we will have taken action if we had.”

However, in another interview with BBC Breakfast on Tuesday, Raab said Britain believed the Taliban would attempt to move in later in autumn and in a more gradual manner.

The National Daily reported China was the first to welcome the Taliban government. Te US also did, with a string attached: gender equality and denunciation of al-Qeada.

When asked how the UK will relate with the Taliban government, especially its foreign relations helmsman.

Raab said sitting down with the Taliban government official will not happen for the ‘foreseeable future’.

Yet almost instantly, Raab added there has always been some form of communication between Britain and the militant group.

“We’ve always had dialogue of some sort, either indirectly through third parties, or through the Taliban’s political commission in Doha.

“It is important to be able to engage at least in some shape or form to test and to exert as much influence as we credibly, realistically can, and also to try and hold the Taliban to account to the new commitments they made.

“We’ve got to try and use every lever working with our partners, working with the UN, working with NATO, to try and secure a more moderating influence, and a better course for the Afghan people in the months and years ahead.”

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