UK will work with Taliban should they come to power

TEHRAN, Jul. 14 (MNA) – Britain will work with the Taliban should they enter the government in Afghanistan, British Defence Minister Ben Wallace said on Tuesday.

The UK will work with the Taliban if they enter the Afghanistan government, British Defence Minister Ben Wallace told the Daily Telegraph in an interview published on July 13.

As they move to control at least 85% of the war-stricken country, the newspaper quoted Wallace saying, “Whatever the government of the day is, provided it adheres to certain international norms, the UK government will engage with it.” However, Wallace also warned that Britain will review any ties “if they behave in a way that is seriously against human rights.”

Further in his interview with the newspaper, Wallace recognised that the prospect of the British government working with the Taliban would be controversial.

"What (the Taliban) desperately want is international recognition. They need to unlock financing and support (for) nation building, and you don't do that with a terrorist balaclava on," he said.

"You have to be a partner for peace otherwise you risk isolation. Isolation led them to where they were last time," he added.

UK Defence Minister also appealed for the Taliban and Ashraf Ghani-led government to work together to bring stability to the country after over two decades of conflict.  

Senior Afghan leaders leave for Doha on Friday for talks with the Taliban. As negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban continue and the Taliban are gaining power, many governments have expressed readiness to work with them.

Last week, the Taliban group claimed that they seized 85 percent of Afghanistan’s soil. In recent days, some parts of Afghanistan have been recaptured by Afghan government forces. 

ZZ/PR/ FNA14000423000564

News Code 176136

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