Qatar’s foreign minister has announced that it will work with the Taliban to investigate gaps and risks for the airport’s reopening. Afghans are confident even though they are currently trapped under the Taliban regime
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A timetable for the reopening of Kabul airport could be announced within a few days, which gives hope to Afghans stranded under the Taliban regime.
At the side of Foreign Minister Dominic Raab in Doha, the Qatari Foreign Minister said: “We are getting involved [the] Taliban in order to identify the gaps and risks for the restart of the airport. ”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani added: “We continue to hope that we can operate it as soon as possible. Hopefully we will hear good news in the next few days. “
The diplomat said it would be “a very strong statement” if the Taliban could commit to “free movement of the Afghan people”.
Mr Raab, who flew to the Middle East on Wednesday evening after ill-treatment of MPs on the Commons’ Special Committee on Foreign Affairs, was asked if he felt “guilty” about leaving Afghans behind to aid the British Armed Forces during their 20 years of service had.
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He said: “I think we feel a responsibility to ensure that the remaining British nationals and Afghan workers can come to the UK. That is why we are watching with great interest what could be possible at Kabul Airport. “
His comments came when Afghan women protested against repressive elements of the Taliban regime in Herat.
They reportedly told Taliban officials that they would accept wearing burqas in exchange for allowing their daughters to get an education.
Mr Raab was due to announce a £ 30 million aid package today to provide shelter and sanitation for those who have fled Afghanistan. He said: “It is vital that we help those who are fleeing Afghanistan and not let the crisis undermine regional stability.”
The foreign minister is expected to fly to other countries in the region, including a two-day stay in Pakistan.
He said countries “must assemble a group that can exercise maximum and moderating influence over what the Taliban do next.”
But he admitted: “We have to adapt to the new reality.” Mr. Raab was annoyed yesterday about the government’s handling of the crisis.
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Details emerged from a leaked Foreign Ministry document warning that Kabul could fall to the Taliban due to “rapid advances” by the militants.
It warned of a reduction in the UK’s counter-terrorism capabilities and predicted “enabling the flow of drugs and illegal migration”.
The document also raised humanitarian concerns, saying the entire region, particularly Pakistan, could be destabilized and damaged the global reputation of the UK and NATO.
A former NATO Secretary General and British Defense Minister sharply criticized the withdrawal of the Afghans.
Simon Dawson / 10 Downing Street)
George Robertson recalled his “pride” in invoking Article V of NATO after 9/11, which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all.
But the peer added, “My pride is replaced by shame, dismay and a lot of sadness.
“In Afghanistan, following Article V, so much has been achieved by so many people, at such high human and financial costs.
“But all of this, I’m afraid, is now being jeopardized by what can only be described as hasty, rude surrender to the very people we … defeated 20 years ago.”
Former cabinet secretary and former national security chief Mark Sedwill said the Afghan withdrawal was “bad policy, poorly implemented” and “an act of strategic self-harm”.
He warned of “a really significant flow of refugees” from Afghanistan.
Retired US Army General HR McMaster, National Security Advisor to President Trump, accused his successor, President Biden, of “plunging Afghanistan into hell” by helping pave the way for a “jihadist terrorist state”.
At the Merville Barracks in Colchester, Essex, Boris Johnson seemed unable to say yesterday how many people Britain might have left behind in Kabul. But the prime minister told the troops they should
Take pride in the evacuation of Kabul, “the greatest humanitarian airlift ever” in UK history.
He added of the Taliban: “You have to understand that if you want to ally with the West …