“We must also be clear-eyed about the Taliban, and temper our approach with a heavy dose of realism. To exert influence over their behaviour, the international community must work together and use all the levers at our disposal: taking a rigorous approach to aid, access to the international financial system, and the full range of sanctions. We are ready to work with partners in the UN’s sanctions committee, which is chaired by India, and through our own human rights sanctions regime,” Raab said in a Saturday article for The Telegraph.
He added that the levers of influence will depend on the decisions that the Taliban makes with regard to enabling safe passage out of Afghanistan and facilitating the work of humanitarian organizations.
The foreign secretary emphasized that maximum “moderating influence” must be exerted on the Taliban in the coming days and weeks.
Raab said that the UK is working with permanent members of the UN Security Council and regional actors, including China, India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Russia to test the workability of an International Contact group on Afghanistan.
The United Kingdom
ended its Afghanistan evacuation missio
n on Saturday. UK Ambassador to Afghanistan Laurie Bristow said that the United Kingdom had evacuated almost 15,000 Britons and Afghans from Kabul in the past two weeks. According to Bristow, almost 1,000 military, as well as diplomatic and civilian personnel, worked on the evacuation operation.
On Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed the situation in Afghanistan with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte. The three agreed that the evacuation of their citizens, as well as local employees and people in need of asylum, from Afghanistan was top priority, along with humanitarian assistance for regional refugees.
Earlier this week, Johnson stressed that the deadly suicide attacks in Kabul that killed over a dozen US troops and scores of Afghans, showed how urgent it was to evacuate people from Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover that occurred on 15 August. The UK has said that two British citizens and the child of another Briton were among those killed in the suicide bomb attack at the airport in the Afghan capital.
The issue of the Kabul airport and its operation after the 31 August
will be discussed by officials from Turkey, Qatar and G7 countries on Monday, according to US media reports.
*A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.