Boris Johnson: Taliban should not be recognised as Afghan government

Nobody should bilaterally recognise the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday, adding it was clear that there would be a new administration in the country very shortly.

“We don’t want anybody bilaterally recognising the Taliban,” Johnson said in an interview clip, urging the West to work together on Afghanistan through mechanisms such as the United Nations and NATO.

Irobiko Chimezie
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

“We want a united position amongst all the like-minded as far as we can get one so that we do whatever we can to prevent Afghanistan lapsing back into being a breeding ground for terror.”

Taliban insurgents entered Kabul on Sunday, President Ashraf Ghani left the country and the US Embassy said the capital’s airport, where diplomats, officials and other Afghans had fled, had come under fire.

“The (UK) ambassador is working round the clock, has been there at the airport to help process the applications,” said Johnson.

Asked whether he would have expected the country to fall to the Taliban so quickly, he replied: “I think it’s fair to say that the US decision to pull out has accelerated things.”

Separately, Russia said earlier on Sunday that it does not yet recognise the Taliban insurgents as Afghanistan’s new lawful authority, RIA state news agency reported.