Monday, May 20, 2024

Afghanistan: UK urges co-operation on safe passage for eligible Afghans

The foreign secretary is urging his international counterparts to work together to provide safe passage for eligible people out of Afghanistan.

Dominic Raab said the Taliban would have to be judged on their actions, having promised those with authorisation would be allowed to leave, the Foreign Office said. But the government says it will still help those eligible for resettlement.

Mr Raab’s comments came at a US-chaired virtual meeting for representatives from his G7 counterparts – including the US, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy – as well as Nato and the EU on Sunday. Turkey and Qatar – considered to have more influence over the Taliban than Western nations – also attended.

“The foreign secretary emphasised the importance of working with like-minded partners on safe passage and exit arrangements for eligible Afghans remaining in the country,” said the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

“He affirmed Taliban assurances that foreign nationals and Afghan citizens with travel authorisation will be allowed to depart the country, but underlined we must judge them on their actions, and whether people are allowed safe passage to leave.”

He also highlighted the need to work “with a range of international partners in order to exercise the maximum moderating influence on the Taliban”.

Mr Raab said preventing Afghanistan becoming a haven for terrorists was a priority, along with stability in the region and the need to protect human rights, said the FCDO.

The final stages of the evacuation from Kabul airport are currently under way ahead of the 31 August deadline for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

While more than 15,000 people have been evacuated by the UK since 14 August, hundreds of people who are entitled to come to the country have been left behind.

It is feared that about 800 to 1,100 eligible Afghans, including those who worked for the UK government, and 100 to 150 British people were unable to get on evacuation flights.

Source: BBC News

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