UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s High Representative, Simon Gass, and Charge d’Affaires of the UK Mission to Afghanistan in Doha, Dr. Martin Longden met with senior members of the Taliban and held discussions on several issues including the humanitarian crisis, terrorism, and rights of women and girls.
The talks took place in the capital city of Kabul after top UK officials traveled to Afghanistan. “They (UK officials) met senior members of the Taliban, including Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund, and Mawlawi Abdul-Salam Hanafi,” UK Foreign Office said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Sir Simon and Dr. Longden discussed how the UK could help Afghanistan to address the humanitarian crisis, the importance of preventing the country from becoming an incubator for terrorism, and the need for continued safe passage for those who want to leave the country,” the foreign office added.
Gass and Longden also raised the importance of safe passage for the UK and Afghan nationals. “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.
Separately in a Twitter post, Longden said that serious and substantial discussions with the Taliban leadership.
“Back in Kabul with Sir Simon Gass for serious and substantial discussions with the Taliban leadership. A wide range of issues covered – including the humanitarian crisis, terrorism, the importance of safe passage for UKAfghan nationals, and rights of women and girls,” Longden tweeted.
“It’s early days and, unsurprisingly, there are points of difference between us. But such difficult challenges lie ahead for Afghanistan (and beyond), it’s right to test if we can engage pragmatically and find common ground – in the interests of both the UK and Afghan peoples,” he said in a subsequent.