BRITAIN will not be recognising the Taliban as Afghanistan’s government “for the foreseeable future”, Dominic Raab said today
But speaking at a press conference in Doha with his Qatari counterpart, the Foreign Secretary did recognise the need to engage with the brutal militants.
He said the Western world needed to “adjust to the new reality” that the brutal insurgents have captured the country and are now in charge.
The Cabinet Minister told reporters: “We will not be recognising the Taliban anytime in the foreseeable future.
“But I think there is an important scope for engagement and dialogue.”
The Foreign Secretary flew to Doha last night and today held crisis talks with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani – who owns PSG football club – as well as foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed.
They thrashed out four areas their two countries will work together to bear down on the Taliban – making sure Afghanistan doesn’t become a terrorist paradise, preventing a humanitarian crisis, ensuring regional stability and holding their feet to the fire to protect women and girls.
Mr Raab will also receive a debrief from UK officials at our new Afghan embassy, which has been moved to the capital Doha after the Taliban seized Kabul.
This morning Mr Raab toured a resettlement centre for Afghan refugees.
He jetted out to the Gulf last night after a grilling from MPs about his role in the biggest foreign policy crisis in recent decades.
Efforts underway to scoop up those who missed an evacuation flight came especially under the microscope.
He will be keen to return to the UK having made significant progress to use as ammunition against his critics – who want him sacked.
Doha has housed the Taliban’s political office since 2013 and so is a crucial part of future talks with the militants.
Britain says it is “keen to work with Qatar and other international partners” to bear down on the Taliban to flush out terrorists from Afghanistan.
Britain has now opened up a dialogue with the insurgents via the PM’s Special Envoy for Afghan Transition, Sir Simon Gass, who has been based in the region for the last couple of weeks.