UK government officials hold talks with Taliban in Kabul

Head of Afghan mission, Taliban leaders discuss humanitarian crisis, terrorism, allowance of safe passage

LONDON (AA) – UK government officials on Tuesday travelled to Afghanistan for talks with the interim Taliban government in Kabul.

Sir Simon Gass, the UK prime minister’s high representative for Afghan transition, and Martin Longed, the charge d’affaires of the UK mission to Afghanistan, met with senior Taliban commanders and leaders and discussed an array of pertinent matters.

“They met senior members of the Taliban, including Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund and Mawlawi Abdul-Salam Hanafi,” a government spokesperson said in a statement.

The pair talked about how the UK could be of assistance in addressing the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, the essentiality of the country not becoming a hotbed and launch pad of terrorism, and the continued need of safe passage for those Afghans looking to leave the country.

“The government continues to do all it can to ensure safe passage for those who wish to leave, and is committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan,” the statement added.

The government representatives also discussed the issue of the treatment of minorities and the rights of women and girls.

In August, the Taliban retook Afghanistan in a lightening offensive that saw the Afghan government and its 300,000 strong NATO-trained military collapse in less than two weeks. The armed movement, however, said that Afghanistan would no longer play host to foreign groups.

The group also promised amnesty to all those who worked for foreign forces in their 20-year campaign as well as the respect for human rights and especially those of women.

Last month, the Taliban announced the formation of an interim government with many of the old guard retaining high positions. However, no women were appointed to any positions in the various ministries.


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