Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

For the first time since the coup, British officials visit Afghanistan

UK

The British Foreign Office announced Tuesday that diplomats from the United Kingdom had been to Afghanistan

For the first time since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, British officials visited Kabul to meet with Taliban senior commanders to discuss the humanitarian crisis and the safe repatriation of British people. It was the first time the Taliban and western authorities had spoken openly since the country was taken over in August. Sir Simon Gass, the prime minister’s special representative for Afghan transition, had travelled to Doha at the end of August to meet senior Taliban representatives “to underline the importance of safe passage out of Afghanistan for British nationals, as well as those Afghans who have worked with us over the past 20 years,” according to Downing Street.

The United Kingdom does not recognise the Taliban regime and has not had an embassy in Afghanistan since August’s withdrawal, instead operating from Doha, Qatar. Gass and Martin Longden, the UK chargé d’affaires in Doha for the UK mission to Afghanistan, headed the UK delegation this week. “They met prominent Taliban members, including Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund, and Mawlawi Abdul-Salam Hanafi,” a government officer stated. [The two] talked on how the UK could help Afghanistan deal with the humanitarian crisis, the necessity of preventing the country from becoming a breeding ground for terrorists, and the need for continued safe passage for people seeking to leave.”

“They met prominent Taliban members, including Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund, and Mawlawi Abdul-Salam Hanafi,” a government officer stated. [The two] talked on how the UK could help Afghanistan deal with the humanitarian crisis, the necessity of preventing the country from becoming a breeding ground for terrorists, and the need for continued safe passage for people seeking to leave.” Taliban fighters were said to have arrested Dr Malalai, the former head of women’s affairs for the Red Crescent and a local TV station anchor, in a raid on her home in Khost province, as a symbol of the continuous pressure on women.

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