Dominic Raab defends not calling Afghan foreign minister while on holiday as he was ‘prioritising security’ at Kabul airport | Politics News
Dominic Raab has said he did not call Afghanistan’s foreign minister when he was on holiday as he was prioritising securing Kabul airport so that evacuation flights could depart.
Amid mounting criticism over the speed of his response to the Taliban’s takeover, the foreign secretary said in a statement on Friday the government has been “working tirelessly” to help people flee Afghanistan.
“On Friday afternoon, 13 August, advice was put to my private office (around 6pm Afghan time) recommending a call to the Afghan foreign minister. This was quickly overtaken by events,” it reads.
“The call was delegated to a minister of state because I was prioritising security and capacity at the airport on the direct advice of the director and the director general overseeing the crisis response.
“In any event, the Afghan foreign minister agreed to take the call, but was unable to because of the rapidly deteriorating situation.
“The government’s approach to prioritise security at the airport was the right one. As a result, 204 UK nationals and their families, Afghan staff and other countries citizens were evacuated on the morning of Monday 16 August.”
Posting on social media, the foreign secretary said his statement was “responding to the inaccurate media reporting over recent days”.
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