UK will engage with Taliban, but won’t recognise govt: Raab

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Dominic Raab said said it would not have been possible to evacuate some 15,000 people from Kabul without some degree of cooperation with the Taliban, who seized Kabul on August 15, reports Asian Lite News

Britain on Friday confirmed that it will not recognise the Taliban as the new government in Afghanistan but said it wants to engage with the group.

Speaking during a visit to Pakistan, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, “Britain will not recognise the Taliban as the new government in Kabul”, reported Al Jazeera.

Raab further stated, “new realities in Afghanistan” must be dealt with and also said that the UK does not want to see the “social and economic fabric of the country broken.”

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UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab meets Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (Photo: twitter/@DominicRaab)

Meanwhile, stressing the importance of talks with the Taliban, he said that the evacuation process could not have been possible without some degree of cooperation with the group, reported Al Jazeera.

He said it would not have been possible to evacuate some 15,000 people from Kabul without some degree of cooperation with the Taliban, who seized Kabul on August 15.

“We do see the importance of being able to engage and having a direct line of communication,” he said.

Raab is on a two-day visit to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. He will be in Pakistan till September 3.

He held talks with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the evolving situation in Afghanistan and bilateral matters, media reported.

Dominic Raab visits an army look outpost on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Photograph Simon DawsonNo10 Downing Street.

Foreign Secretary Raab also had an interaction at the leadership level, the Foreign Office said in a statement. He met Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of the Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Raab is also on the tour to visit Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries. On Thursday morning, Raab arrived in Qatar to discuss the Afghanistan situation with Qatar Foreign Minister in Doha.

The outfit is expected to announce a new government in Afghanistan. The movement’s supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, is expected to have ultimate power over a new governing council, with a president below him, Taliban officials have said.

Dominic Raab visits an army look outpost on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Photograph Simon DawsonNo10 Downing Street.

Senior Taliban leader Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai met with UK senior civil servant Simon Gass here and discussed humanitarian aid, security and political issues, as well as bilateral relations.

This was announced by Taliban spokesperson M Naeem on Twitter. Simon Gass, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Special Representative for Afghan Transition, is currently in Doha to hold talks with Taliban leaders.

In the run-up to government formation, the Taliban is holding talks with several countries around the world in a bid to gain legitimacy. (ANI)

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