Britain in talks with Taliban in Doha for further evacuations

WION Web Team
London Published: Sep 01, 2021, 09:12 AM(IST)

UK Armed forces commando fist-bumps an evacuee during evacuation operations at Kabul airport in Afghanistan. Photograph:( AFP )

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Britain's defence secretary Ben Wallace has said 150 to 250 people who are still to be evacuated remain in Afghanistan.

After the US completed its evacuation from Kabul on Monday night, the United Kingdom has begun engaging in talks with the Taliban to secure safe passage out of Afghanistan for British nationals and Afghans still stranded in the country.

The talks between senior Taliban members and UK officials have been taking place in Doha.

UK defence secretary Ben Wallace told members of the British Parliament that between 150 to 250 people who are eligible for relocation still remain in Afghanistan.

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The development comes after the Taliban pledged to allow further departures.

The spokesman for 10 Downing Street said that the special representative for Afghan transition Simon Gass has travelled to Doha and is meeting with senior Taliban representatives.

Also Read: Pentagon refutes reports claiming the US left military dogs in Kabul

In addition to the talks with the Taliban, the UK government said it was sending 15 crisis response specialists to Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to assist in getting more people to the UK.

The UK government is reportedly focussing on its nationals including local interpreters and "risk-risk" Afghans.

On Tuesday, foreign secretary Dominic Raab said that the UK needed to face the changing situation in Afghanistan and work with other nationals to exercise a moderating influence on the Taliban.

The Taliban declared "victory" in Afghanistan on Tuesday after the US troops pulled out of the country at midnight on Monday.

The group has promised that those with authorisation will be allowed to leave the country as US secretary of state Anthony Blinken pledged to "hold the Taliban to their commitment".

Reports say at least 8,000 Afghans who helped NATO forces have been evacuated from Afghanistan, however, several Afghans who are eligible to be evacuated to the UK still remain in Afghanistan.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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