Former Mayor of London Boris Johnson has reportedly said that he would be open to talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan. The comments were made in response to a question about the possibility of a coalition with the Taliban government of Afghanistan and former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai.

The news of the Taliban’s possible talks with diplomatic delegations in Doha has rocked the UK government and the British public alike. The Prime Minister called the talks ‘a very positive step’ and a ‘very significant development’. Johnson said “Well, I’m still reserving judgment, because I know that the Taliban have so many different faces and we’ve got to be very, very aware of that. But it looks a very positive step forward.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out any talks with the Taliban until the conflict in Afghanistan is “stabilised”, as new figures show a decline in civilian deaths.  Johnson said it was “very difficult to see” when the conflict would be resolved, but he added it was “absolutely right” the UK was continuing to support the Afghan government.

Boris Johnson is willing to work with the Taliban as Afghanistan evacuations continue

Boris Johnson has not ruled out the possibility of future diplomatic ties with the Taliban.

The prime minister’s remarks come as it is revealed that a powerful jihadi leader has arrived in Kabul to assist in the formation of a new administration.

During being driven out after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, the Islamist organization has reclaimed control of the nation. 

Despite two decades of Western backing and financing, Afghan security forces and the central government were unable to withstand the group’s rapid insurgency after US aid was discontinued. 

Taliban officials have attempted to portray a more moderate and conciliatory face in recent days, in contrast to the harsh rule they led in the mid-1990s.

In recent days, many allegations of human rights violations and retaliatory violence against individuals who cooperated with the West have surfaced, casting doubt on any claims that the organization has altered its ways.

It’s unknown what the future composition of a Taliban-led government would be, but unidentified Afghan officials have said that no further announcements will be made until after the August 31 military departure deadline has passed.

Taliban fighters pose for a photograph in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021.

From a security standpoint, the Taliban rule Kabul and the overwhelming majority of Afghanistan, but no new government has been announced (Picture: AP)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson statement on Afghanistan.

The prime minister has not ruled out future collaboration with the Taliban, which would entail reopening a diplomatic mission that was abruptly closed this week (Picture: Downing Street)

‘I want to tell people…that our political and diplomatic efforts to find a solution for Afghanistan – working with the Taliban, of course, if necessary – will continue, and our commitment to Afghanistan is enduring,’ Mr Johnson told broadcasters.

When asked whether the British government would consider long-term cooperation with the Taliban, Prime Minister David Cameron said, “Well, I think it’s extremely essential that we accept people at face value.” We’re hoping they’re serious about what they say. 

‘But, as I said in the House of Commons, and I believe this is the attitude of everyone from President Trump to President Macron of France, Angela Merkel, and everyone I spoke with – I just spoke with my Dutch colleague – we will evaluate them on their deeds, and that is the most important thing.’

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s commander, has left his headquarters in Qatar to go to Kabul for talks with local officials as the organization attempts to establish a new government.

It’s the first time in a decade that the prominent Taliban co-founder, who has been imprisoned in Pakistan for the last eight years, has set foot on Afghan land.

Mullah Baradar Akhund, a senior official of the Taliban, seated with a group of men, makes a video statement.

The Taliban’s top political operator, Mullah Baradar Akhund (centre), has arrived in Kabul for negotiations. (Photo courtesy of Reuters)

After fighting with mujahideen troops against the Soviet Union in the 1990s, the jihadi commander helped establish the organization and is anticipated to arbitrate between local militias, former officials, and regional leaders.

He previously worked with the US on the 2020 peace deal, which was reached under President Donald Trump’s presidency.

Despite holding a position in the organization below supreme commander Hibatullah Akhundzada, Baradar is generally considered as the group’s top political operator.

In recent days, the United Kingdom, the United States, and most European countries have shuttered their embassies in Afghanistan.

Only a few nations, including China, Russia, and Turkey, have maintained diplomatic missions on the ground.

British citizens and Afghans eligible for resettlement in the UK are being evacuated.

US soldiers stand guard behind barbed wire as Afghans sit on a roadside near the military part of the airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021.

Western troops still retain control of an airfield at Kabul’s airport, so any statement of a new Afghan government may be postponed until August 31, when they are scheduled to leave. (Photo courtesy of AFP)

Mr Johnson said that the situation at the airport has improved somewhat and that the ‘operation is getting quicker’ as a result of ground stabilization after the deployment of more troops.

He said a resettlement program will continue after the US military departure on August 31, but it’s unclear how that would work if the Taliban seize the final exit route out of Afghanistan.

After President Joe Biden chose to continue with a plan to wind down the operation in Afghanistan in time for the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Mr Johnson stated, “this was never going to be an easy moment.”

More: UK

‘After all, we went into Afghanistan to assist and defend the United States,’ he added. 

‘Clearly, we’ll have to handle the repercussions if the United States chooses to leave forcefully in the manner that they have.

‘However, as I’ve said, this government’s commitment to doing all we can – which is a lot – to assist the people of Afghanistan and to solve the humanitarian and refugee crises is unwavering.’

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The talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government have been going on for months, but they are unlikely to succeed. Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is overseeing the negotiations in Qatar. He is a former deputy defense minister, who was released from house arrest in Pakistan in 2011 . Baradar was apprehended in April last year. When he was under house arrest, he was in contact with Chaman, in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, where the Taliban have their main base. He was arrested when the US special forces raided an Afghan house there and found intelligence documents about the Taliban’s plans and a list of members.. Read more about ashraf ghani and let us know what you think.

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