Dominic Raab rules out handing aid cash to the Taliban
Dominic Raab rules out handing aid cash to the Taliban as he says the group must now create a ‘safe and secure’ environment in Afghanistan for humanitarian agencies to work
- Dominic Raab said the UK will not send international aid money to the Taliban
- He said the funding will go through international humanitarian organisations
- He challenged Taliban regime to create a ‘safe and secure’ environment for aid
Dominic Raab today ruled out handing international aid funding directly to the new Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
The Foreign Secretary said the UK is not willing to put the group in charge of development spending and all efforts will go through humanitarian organisations.
Speaking in Islamabad, Pakistan, Mr Raab challenged the Taliban to create a ‘safe and secure environment’ to allow aid agencies to work and help Afghan citizens.
He said that will be an ‘early test’ for the group as he stressed that ‘no one wants to see the economic and social fabric of Afghanistan collapse’.
Dominic Raab today ruled out handing international aid funding directly to the new Taliban regime in Afghanistan. He is pictured alongside Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi
Mr Raab and Mr Qureshi held talks as the Foreign Secretary seeks to build support in the region following the UK and US withdrawal from Afghanistan
Boris Johnson has doubled the UK’s aid contribution to Afghanistan to £286million this year.
The Foreign Office has announced that £30million of that cash will be released to Afghanistan’s neighbours to help people who want to leave the country following the withdrawal of UK and US forces.
Mr Raab has already ruled out formally recognising the Taliban regime for the foreseeable future and today he said the group will not receive aid funding from Britain.
He said: ‘In terms of the aid, look, there are two areas of focus and again this comes back to some of the early tests for the Taliban.
‘No one wants to see the economic and social fabric of Afghanistan collapse.
‘I can’t see how that would be in the interests of the Taliban, let alone ordinary Afghans, we certainly don’t want to see that happen.
‘So we would be willing, not to fund aid via the Taliban, but through the humanitarian organisations that operate inside Afghanistan.
‘For that to happen there needs to be a safe and secure environment. So again, that is an early test for the Taliban but we are willing to make sure that we do our bit with the international community to fund the humanitarian agencies, the lifeline for ordinary Afghans.
‘But there needs to be a safe and permissive environment for that.’
It came as Mr Raab again insisted the speed of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan had taken the US, UK and NATO by surprise.
He said: ‘The takeover I think it’s fair to say was faster than anyone anticipated, not just the United Kingdom or Nato allies, but I was talking with our friends here.
‘And I suspect the Taliban and ordinary Afghans were taken by surprise.
‘I think there was a common widespread surprise at the speed with which the consolidation of power happened.’
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