The UK says the two sides discussed the growing humanitarian crisis and “terrorism” in Afghanistan, among other things.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s special envoy has held talks with senior members of Afghanistan’s new Taliban government in Kabul.
Senior civil servant Simon Gass met with Deputy Prime Ministers Abdul Ghani Baradar and Abdul Salam Hanafi on Tuesday, the Foreign Office said.
They discussed how the UK could help Afghanistan address a deeper humanitarian crisis, “terrorism” and the need for safe passage for those wishing to leave the country.
“They also raised the issue of treatment of minorities and the rights of women and girls,” said a British government spokesman.
“The [UK] The government continues to make every effort to ensure safe passage for those who wish to leave, and is committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan.”
Gass was accompanied by the charge d’affaires of the British mission to Afghanistan in Doha.
Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the spokesman for the Taliban’s foreign ministry, said the meeting “focused on detailed discussions about reviving diplomatic relations between the two countries”.
He added that the Afghan foreign minister wanted the UK to “start a new chapter of constructive relations”.
Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker, who reports from Kabul, said the visit is “important” because there is now an “open line of communication” between the UK and the Taliban.
“I think this is what the international community is doing, it is using this fact of international recognition of the Taliban as the legal official governing body of this country, to try and pressure the group to adhere to certain standards they would want. to see,” said Dekker.
“We are in a time when the Taliban are seeking this international legitimacy, they need millions of dollars to move this country forward,” she added, citing Afghanistan’s dire economic situation and concerns about drought and famine.
‘What you see is a political dance,’ said Dekker. “I don’t think this means they’re getting close to officially recognizing them as the government, but a dialogue is underway.”