The Foreign Secretary will fly out to Doha this evening (1 September) for talks with his Qatari counterparts as part of the government’s work with partners on the situation in Afghanistan.
The immediate priority is to progress the practical arrangements to enable those UK nationals and Afghans who have worked for us to travel to the UK. The Foreign Office has been working with the Home Office and Ministry of Defence on this issue and is deploying specially trained crisis teams to countries in the region to support this effort.
The visit will also be an opportunity to discuss with important regional partners the Government’s four key priorities for Afghanistan:
- preventing Afghanistan becoming a haven for terrorists
- responding to the humanitarian plight
- safeguarding regional stability
- holding the Taliban to account on human rights
It comes as the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary continue to rally a broad coalition of countries around shared aims in response to the crisis, including testing the workability of an International Contact Group of which Qatar would be a key member.
The Foreign Secretary will meet with the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
Before heading to the airport, the Foreign Secretary spoke again to the Indian Foreign Minister, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who is currently travelling in Europe. It was an opportunity for the Foreign Secretary to thank the Indian government, which held the UN Security Council Presidency in August, for its help in securing the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution on Afghanistan, jointly tabled by the UK, and to discuss how the international community can continue to work together on our shared aims.
Meanwhile Lord Ahmad will travel to Tajikistan for talks on Friday on the same set of issues – securing safe passage for those fleeing Afghanistan and advancing the government’s international priorities.