A delegation will travel to Doha to hold talks with the Taliban to prevent the withdrawal of Afghanistan from British citizens and allies.
The United Kingdom has opened talks with the Taliban to find a “safe way” from Afghanistan for its citizens and Afghan people who have worked for the British government.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s special envoy for Afghanistan’s reforms, Simon Gass, has traveled to Doha, Qatar, to meet with Taliban delegates, according to a statement issued by the government on Tuesday.
Many senior Taliban leaders remained in exile in Qatar’s capital until a 20-year-old Afghan-led Afghan government was overthrown.
Gass “met with delegates of Taliban officials to discuss the need for a safe exit from Afghanistan for British citizens, and for Afghan people who have worked with us for the past two decades,” he said.
It is the first publicity meeting between London and the Taliban since the UK joined the United States in a massive flight of more than 100,000 people after being captured by Afghan troops.
The Taliban have promised to allow Afghans to come to meet with foreign invitations to honor the commitment a few days after leaving the US on Tuesday.
More than 8,000 Afghans who assisted NATO troops in leaving Afghanistan with the British government have been granted leave to remain.
But Mr. Johnson was criticized after many Afghans who supported NATO – and are eligible to relocate to the UK – believe he has been abandoned in Afghanistan, where it is at the mercy of the Taliban.
An unnamed British minister told the Sunday Times that he believed the UK could produce “800-1,000 more people” on the trip.
Johnson’s government wanted to extend the US term of office on August 31 but ultimately failed to attract President Joe Biden.
After the Taliban entered Kabul in mid-August, the British Prime Minister said the Taliban should be held accountable for “their actions and not for his words” and insisted that the UK could not remain in Afghanistan without American support.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has also been criticized by the opposition Labor Party for not leaving the seafront during Taliban rule.