U.K. Foreign Secretary: Taliban Takeover Is “A New Reality”

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “U.K. Foreign Secretary: Taliban Takeover Is “A New Reality”” – below is their description.

(AP) Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Monday the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan was a “new reality” the UK would have to deal with.

The Taliban enforced their rule over Kabul on Monday after a lightning advance across the country that took just over a week to dethrone the country’s Western-backed government.

There were no major reports of abuses or fighting, but many residents stayed home and remained fearful after the insurgents’ advance saw prisons emptied and armories looted.

Raab said the takeover was “not what the UK wanted” and he had been surprised at the “scale and pace” in which it had happened.

He said the UK would be holding the Taliban to account over commitments it made to not let Afghanistan be used as a “base for terror” and to have a more “inclusive government and to protect the most essential human rights”.

“It is clearly not going to be to the values that the UK, the West, the European Union, the Americans believe in,” he said.

“But we can have a moderating influence and I think it’s important we use all of the policy tools at our disposal working with our partners to try and achieve that.”

He added the current priority was to get British nationals and Afghans who had served the UK out of the country.

The Taliban offensive through the country stunned American officials.

Just days before the insurgents entered Kabul with little if any resistance, a U.S. military assessment predicted it could take months for the capital to fall.

The rout threatened to erase 20 years of Western efforts to remake Afghanistan that saw tens of thousands of Afghans killed as well as more than 3,500 U.S. and allied troops.

The initial invasion in 2001 drove the Taliban from power and scattered al-Qaida, which had planned the 9/11 attacks while being sheltered in Afghanistan.

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