The UK needs to engage directly with the Taliban over its priorities. The priorities include aiding potential evacuees to leave Afghanistan. Speaking after its talks in Qatar, the UK foreign secretary said that it would not recognize the militant group.
He further said that the cooperation on border crossings was a much important test for its relationship with the West. He added that the UK must optionally adjust to this new reality. At a press conference, Mr. Raab said that Qatar would play as an influence to exert a moderate influence on the Taliban government.
The Gulf state has hosted the political office for the Taliban for eight years. It is in talks with the group over the restarting of Kabul airport. After his talks with Mr. Raab, foreign minister of Qatar Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said there was not at all a clear indication for this to happen.
But he further added that they are working very hard and they are hopeful for their operation a soon as possible. During the start of a tour in this region, Mr. Raab opted for talks with Sheikh Mohammed.
British officials are meeting senior Taliban leaders in Doha. They will brief the foreign secretary on the possible outcome of these talks.
The Foreign Office said that the British embassy in Afghanistan is up now, and it is running in Doha. After the meetings, he told the reporters, “We will not be recognizing the Taliban. But we do see the need to be able to have direct engagement. Otherwise, we can’t provide messages; we can’t listen to the response.”
He further added, “There are some early tests for the Taliban. One was their approach to the airport during the evacuation. Now we’re into a different space.
“Can we see safe passage provided out of Afghanistan? That will be quite an important first test – we need to be able to discuss that or engage on that.”
He added that the cooperator on the group would also be there to ensure a permissive climate to aid workers who are working in the country. But he further said that the government would judge the Taliban on their actions and no words.
The last plane of the UK flying out of Kabul took off on Saturday. On Tuesday, Mr. Raab said that there are more than 17000 people whom the UK has evacuated. But it is feared that hundreds of eligible candidates are still there.
Mr. Raab thinks the number of UK nationals who are still in Afghanistan is lower than hundreds. These groups include Afghan nationals and their families who have worked with UK forces.