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Afghan crisis: UK, Taliban discuss humanitarian aid, bilateral ties in Doha

News Agencies | Updated on: 3 September 2021, 9:17 IST

Senior Taliban leader Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai met with UK senior civil servant Simon Gass here and discussed humanitarian aid, security and political issues, as well as bilateral relations.

This was announced by Taliban spokesperson M Naeem on Twitter. Simon Gass, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Special Representative for Afghan Transition, is currently in Doha to hold talks with Taliban leaders.

"Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, Deputy Chief of the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate, and his accompanying delegation met with Simon Gass, Representative of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and a delegation in Doha today. The meeting focused on humanitarian aid, security and political issues, as well as bilateral relations," he tweeted in Pashto.

"The British delegation added that they have doubled their humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and are ready to continue cooperating with the Islamic Emirate in this regard. The delegation of the Islamic Emirate thanked them for their humanitarian assistance," he tweeted further.

The UK government has reportedly opened a discussion with the Taliban to ensure the safe passage of its remaining nationals from Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Dominic Raab, UK foreign secretary, is also on the tour to visit Afghanistan's neighbouring countries. On Thursday morning, Raab arrived in Qatar to discuss the Afghanistan situation with Qatar Foreign Minister in Doha.

Raab on Thursday met with the evacuees from Afghanistan who are being hosted by Qatar and said that the UK will continue working with their partners in response to the humanitarian plight and ensure safe passage for those who want to leave the war-torn country.

The security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated sharply in the past few weeks as the Taliban took over the capital city of Kabul following months of violence.

On August 18, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has decided to double the humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan amid the Taliban's takeover of the country.

"The UK will double the amount of its humanitarian and development assistance to Afghanistan, bringing it to a total of 286 million pounds," (USD 393.3 million) Johnson had said while addressing the house of parliament.

The terror group are expected to announce a new government in Afghanistan. The movement's supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, is expected to have ultimate power over a new governing council, with a president below him, Taliban officials have said.

In the run-up to government formation, the Taliban is holding talks with several countries around the world in a bid to gain legitimacy. They have assured world leaders to not allow Afghanistan again to become a sanctuary of terrorists.

However, British security agencies are concerned that the Taliban could allow jihadist groups to set up training camps similar to those run by al-Qaida before September 11.


Also Read: EU foreign ministers discuss coordinated engagement with Taliban

First published: 3 September 2021, 9:17 IST