The United Kingdom has opened discussions with the Taliban to obtain “free passage” for its nationals and allies outside Afghanistan after the takeover of the country by the radical Islamist movement.
AFP obtained confirmation from the British government on Wednesday that Sir Simon Gass, the British special representative for the transition in Afghanistan, was traveling to Doha to meet with Taliban leaders.
Diplomatic demarches between London and the Taliban
Sir Simon Gass “meets with senior Taliban representatives to stress the importance of free passage out of Afghanistan for British nationals and Afghans who have worked for us,” the government spokesman said in a statement. This is the first public confirmation of diplomatic demarches between London and the Taliban.
London had joined the United States in a giant operation to evacuate more than 100,000 people from Afghanistan after the Afghan army surrendered to the Taliban. The British Prime Minister has been widely criticized after thousands of Afghans who helped NATO were abandoned in their country.
To date, more than 8,000 Afghans who have helped NATO forces have managed to leave Afghanistan, and London has assured that they can stay on British territory.