KABUL (Pajhwok): The British foreign secretary says the United Kingdom has received good consultation from his US counterpart on Washington’s decision to draw down troops from Afghanistan.
Dominic Raab said this after a meeting with Antony Blinken in London on Monday. The talks came before the first G7 foreign ministerial meeting in more than two years.
At a joint media briefing with Blinken, Raab said the US had not ignored the UK on Afghanistan. “We’ve had very good consultation on this and we continued that.”
The Evening Standard quoted him as saying that they conferred on protecting their troops and the hard-won gains in Afghanistan.
He added the also promoting dialogue and a peace process that benefitted all Afghans and left the country as stable and inclusive as possible.
For his part, Blinken America and Britain had stood shoulder to shoulder for nearly 20 years, sharing a mission in the war-torn country.
“We’ll never forget it. The United States has no closer ally, no closer partner than the United Kingdom, and I am very glad for the chance to say that again here today,” he added.
The visiting secretary confirmed the US had actively consulted its NATO partners and allies before President Joe Biden made his decision on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
“We are very focused on a deliberate, safe and orderly drawdown of our forces. We’ve made absolutely clear that as we withdraw forces from Afghanistan, we will protect them,” Blinken continued.
If the troops were attacked, the American diplomat warned, they would take decisive action in response.
Blinken promised the US would remain active diplomatically in terms of trying to advance negotiations and a political settlement between the Afghan government, the Taliban and other key parties.
“We intend to sustain our assistance to Afghanistan, including development, economic, humanitarian; our support for Afghanistan’s security forces as well.”