British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday that no country should recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan’s legitimate government after the group takes control of Kabul and most of the country’s provincial capitals.
A Taliban spokesman wrote online that the group had captured the presidential palace in Kabul. video footage and photos Taliban members were shown sitting in the president’s office holding AK-47s, hours after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
Speaking at a news conference, Johnson said no country should bilaterally recognize the Taliban, which was designated as a terrorist group by the State Department and other Western powers decades ago as Afghanistan’s government Was.
“We don’t want anyone to recognize the Taliban bilaterally,” he said. “We all want a united position among like-minded people, as far as we can get it,” Johnson said.
President Joe Biden, meanwhile, has been at a retreat at Camp David and has yet to issue a statement on the Taliban takeover.
With the Taliban gaining control of the country, there are fears that it will harbor other terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS, allowing them to plot terrorist attacks elsewhere in the world.
Meanwhile, Afghan government forces handed over Bagram Airbase—formerly the largest US base in the country—to the Taliban, district chief Darvesh Roufi said in a commentary to the Associated Press over the weekend. The AP noted that about 5,000 prisoners held by both the Taliban and ISIS at the airbase had been released.
Johnson said on Sunday that neither Britain nor the United States wants Afghanistan to be a “breeding site for terror” again. Johnson, however, did not say whether Britain would consider any punitive action against the Taliban.
“Our priority is to ensure that we fulfill our obligations to the citizens of the UK, all those who have helped the British efforts over 20 years in Afghanistan, and to get them out as quickly as possible,” he said. “
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said no one wants Afghanistan to become a “breeding ground for terror” as the Taliban enter the capital, Kabul.
Around the same time, a key Taliban spokesman claimed on twitter That the group entered Kabul due to concerns of crime.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier in Washington that the embassy was being moved to the airport and there was a list of people to avoid damage. Blinken also issued a warning to the Taliban, saying the group would face a severe backlash if the group attacked the embassy or US staff or soldiers.
In a bulletin sent on Sunday, the US State Department said that “the security situation in Kabul, including the airport, is changing rapidly.”
“There are reports of fire at the airport; We are therefore instructing US citizens to seek refuge in place,” the agency wrote, “do not call the US Embassy in Kabul for details or updates about the flight.”
Many Afghans fear that the Taliban will return to past harsh practices in enforcing Sharia, or Islamic religious law. During his 1996 to 2001 rule, women could not work and were punished with stone pelting, whipping and hanging.
Reuters contributed to this report.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times