© Reuters. Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab walks outside Downing Street, in London, Britain, August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
LONDON (Reuters) -Britain cautioned the Taliban on Tuesday that Afghanistan must never be used to launch terror attacks but added that the West must try to positively influence the insurgents who have grabbed power after the United States withdrew its forces.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the West would have to be pragmatic in its relations with the Taliban and try to see if it could moderate the new rulers of Afghanistan.
“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,” Raab told Sky.
“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,” he said.
Told by a Sky reporter that the Taliban were a “red tag bunch of thugs”, Raab said: “I’m not going to dissent from that view but they are now in power, and we now need to deal with that reality.”
“We want to test whether there is scope to moderate the kind of regime that we will now see in place,” Raab said.
Raab said the position at Kabul airport was stabilising.
“The position at the airport is stabilising,” he said. “The stability at the airport is absolutely key.”
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