Afghanistan: UK 'faces trouble from Russia and China' says MP
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Following the G7 summit, where Boris Johnson failed to convince Joe Biden into delaying the withdrawal of troops, China and Russia have pledged to respect the sovereignty of the Taliban leadership. Although Human Rights Watch has indicated the Taliban has already committed several human rights violations, Putin told Xi he is ready to support China in stopping “foreign forces destroying” Afghanistan. As reported by China’s People Daily: “Xi stressed that China respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and adheres to the policy of non-interference in its internal affairs, and has played a constructive role in resolving the Afghanistan issue via political means.”
Indeed, Putin revealed the Russian government is keeping a “close eye” on the situation in Afghanistan as Western forces leave a power vacuum in the state.
He said following the call with his counterpart: “We are keeping a close eye on this situation, actively cooperating with our allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
“Naturally, we will not interfere in Afghanistan’s domestic affairs, neither will our armed forces be drawn into this all-against-all conflict.”
In a reference to Russia’s past presence in Afghanistan during the 1980s, Putin warned the country had now learnt its lesson from the past.
He added: “The former Soviet Union has its own experience in that country.
“We have learned the lesson.”
Human Rights Watch indicated earlier this month that Taliban forces had summarily executed detained soldiers, police, and civilians with alleged ties to the Afghan government.
A confidential document by the RHIPTO Norwegian Center for Global Analyses also warned the Taliban were conducting door-to-door manhunts in the country.
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While Xi and Putin hatched a plan to strengthen ties with Afghanistan, Western forces are set to complete their withdrawal from the country by August 31.
Thousands are being airlifted from the country amid fears the Taliban will return to its brutal regime.
Boris Johnson, along with the other members of the G7 – the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan – have now agreed a roadmap for engaging with the terrorist group.
Mr Johnson added: “The number one condition that we are insisting upon is safe passage beyond the 31st, beyond this initial phase, for those who want to leave Afghanistan.
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“We’re confident we can get thousands more out, but the situation at the airport is not getting any better.”
Mr Johnson also indicated the G7 may release frozen Taliban assets in order to if the militant group allows the free passage of migrants.
He said: “If those huge funds are going to be unfrozen eventually for use by the government and people of Afghanistan then what we’re saying is Afghanistan can’t lurch back into becoming a breeding ground of terror, Afghanistan can’t become a narco-state, girls have got to be educated up to the age of 18.
“Those are important things that we value.
“Those are things we fought for for years in Afghanistan, for which people in this country gave their lives.
“We remain committed to those values and we remain committed to Afghanistan.
“The No 1 condition we’re insisting on is safe passage.”
Last week, the US froze $9.5billion (£6.9billion) in assets belonging to Afghanistan’s central bank.
According to reports, the country has $1.3billion (£950million) in gold held in New York.
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