UK may continue Kabul evacuations in ‘future’, says Raab

UK may continue Kabul evacuations in ‘near future’, says Raab amid calls to resign
2 min read
03 September, 2021
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that there needs to be direct engagement with the Taliban, and added that evacuations from Kabul airport will resume in the 'near future'.
Dominic Raab faces calls to resign over his handling of the crisis in Afghanistan [Getty]

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said that evacuations from Kabul airport are set to resume “in the near future”, and he said that there needs to be an open dialogue with the Taliban.

Speaking after talks in Qatar, he said he hopes that British nationals and Afghans wishing to leave can do so, but did not give a timeline for when that would happen.

“There is important scope for engagement and dialogue [with the Taliban]”, he was quoted as saying during a meeting with Qatar emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamas Al Thani.

“We all want to avoid a humanitarian disaster and that requires a permissive environment,” he added.

When queried about the evacuations, he said: “I don’t think we’re yet able to say anything formal but that’s looking like it may happen at some point in the near future”.

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Qatar has been housing Afghan refugees evacuated from Afghanistan, many of whom worked with US and NATO forces, and could have faced threats to their lives under Taliban rule.

Britain's top diplomat has faced calls to resign after going on holiday ahead of the mid-August Taliban takeover.

"No, I considered getting on with the job," Raab said, when asked if he had considering resigning over the crisis.

Raab staunchly defended both his and the government's conduct during the chaotic evacuations of British nationals and vulnerable Afghans.

More than 8,000 people potentially eligible to leave have been left stranded after the last UK military flight left Afghanistan on Saturday.