UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab with Pakistani counterpart SM Qureshi (https://twitter.com/DominicRaab)
UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab with Pakistani counterpart SM Qureshi (https://twitter.com/DominicRaab)

In Pakistan, Dominic Raab reiterates UK won't recognise Taliban rule in Afghanistan

However, the British foreign secretary also stressed upon the need to engage with the Taliban, without whose cooperation, he said, it would not have been possible for the UK to airlift nearly 15,000 people out of Kabul.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON SEP 03, 2021 06:28 PM IST

Even as world governments continue to ponder over possibly recognising a future Taliban rule in Afghanistan, British foreign secretary Dominic Raab reiterated on Friday that the United Kingdom will not recognise a new Taliban government in the war-torn country. Raab’s remarks came in the backdrop of the regime preparing to unveil its government in Kabul.

Also Read | No to recognition, yes to engagement: Britain's plan on Taliban amid Afghanistan crisis

“The approach we’re taking is that we don’t recognise the Taliban as a government,” Raab said in Pakistan where he arrived from Doha on Thursday for a two-day visit to discuss the Afghanistan situation with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi. “Britain normally recognise states rather than governments,” he further said.

However, Raab also stressed upon the need to engage with the new Afghan government. “We do see the importance of engaging and having a direct line of communication. It would not have been possible without their cooperation to nearly 15,000 people from Kabul,” the British foreign secretary remarked.

Also Read | Dominic Raab heads to Afghanistan’s neighbours to hold talks on evacuations

The final British troops in Afghanistan left the country last week, thus concluding the UK’s twenty-year-long military campaign there. 

Raab also urged caution over the regime’s promises of not returning to the harsh fundamentalist rule during their first term in power, from 1996 to 2001. He said, “The series of undertakings made by the Taliban are positive at the level of words. We should, however, see if this translates into words.”

The minister also announced the release of the first tranche of 30-million-pound package for Afghanistan’s neighbours to help them deal with the possibility of a large exodus, adding that the aid for that country had been hiked to 286 million pounds.

The Taliban captured Kabul on August 15, when the United States was in the middle of withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, as announced by president Joe Biden earlier this year. The US ended its military mission on August 30, a day before the self-announced deadline of August 31. It has shifted its Afghan embassy to Doha.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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