Afghanistan: CNN reporter says Taliban fighters ‘seem friendly’
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The warning from Mr Raab comes after the Taliban swept across Afghanistan rapidly gaining ground as the US and allies pulled out of the country. Mr Raab also said the West would have to be pragmatic in its relations with the Taliban. He said: “Our message is going to be this: Afghanistan must never be used to launch terrorist attacks against the West, we’ve had 20 years of success in that regard. We want to do everything we can, through the full range of diplomatic-economic sanction measures, to make sure we can use as much leverage as we conceivably have, and I’m realistic about that, to try and moderate and exercise some form of positive influence around the regime.”
Mr Raab admitted the UK was surprised at the speed in which the Taliban gained control in Afghanistan.
Speaking to Sky News, he said “the truth is, across the world, people were caught by surprise. I haven’t spoken to an international interlocutor, including countries in the region over the last week, who hasn’t been surprised.”
It comes as the European Union is set for an emergency meeting to discuss the security situation following the crisis in Afghanistan.
There are fears that the Taliban victory could trigger mass migration similar to that seen during the 2015 migrant crisis which saw millions of Syrians flee their war-torn country.
French President Emmanuel Macron said: “We must anticipate and protect ourselves against significant irregular migratory flows.”
The French president called the situation in Afghanistan a “historic turning point” which will have “major consequences for the whole of the international community, for Europe, and France”.
READ MORE: Afghanistan LIVE: UK and US evacuation suspended – runway unsafe
The Taliban declared “the war was over” on Sunday after seizing the presidential palace in the capital city Kabul – sending former President Ashraf Ghani fleeing.
Fighting in the region had escalated significantly in recent weeks after the US-led military coalition began their withdrawal which was due to end at the end of the month.
The declaration of victory follows a blistering advance across Afghanistan, which saw 20 provincial capitals fall to the Taliban in less than two weeks.
Thousands of Afghan people flocked to Kabul airport yesterday desperate to escape from the Taliban’s looming regime.
Disturbing video footage emerged showing two people falling from a US Military aircraft as it was taking off moments after dozens of people were seen clinging to the outside of the plane on the runway.
The British government vowed to evacuate hundreds of Britons and eligible Afghan nationals but their efforts were temporarily suspended due to the large number of people who had invaded the runway.
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08:40 Mpre evacuations possible as position at the airport 'stabilising'
The situation at Kabul airport is “stabilising” after a turbulent 24 hours, according to Dominic Raab.
Thousands of people flooded to the runway yesterday in a bid to escape the Taliban’s feared rule.
“The position at the airport is stabilising.
“There has been a surge of UK and US troops – we have got 600 extra personnel there,” said Mr Raab.
Mr Raab told Sky News this morning that 150 British nationals were successfully evacuated from Afghanistan on Sunday alone.
“We expect over the next 24 hours to have 350 more British nationals and Afghan nationals who have worked for us coming out,” he added.
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