Wednesday, December 1

Dominic Raab Responds As Calls Increase For UK Foreign Minister To Step Down Over Afghan ‘Negligence’

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is facing increasingly scathing criticism for his conduct and that of his department over the crisis in Afghanistan, but so far the minister has rejected a chorus of calls to resign.

It began with allegations that he had not personally stepped in to seek help for Afghans who had worked for the British and were in danger when the Taliban approached Kabul and did not phone his Afghan government counterpart. Raab has also been punished for returning from a holiday in Crete last Sunday night, after the fall of the Afghan capital.

But as each day this week has brought more accusations and revelations, the criticism has broadened to encompass the Raab Foreign Office and the Johnson government as a whole.

He is accused, at best, of sleeping on the job over Afghanistan in the middle of the troop withdrawal process, and at worst, shows an indifferent indifference towards hundreds of Afghans, interpreters and others, who They served British forces at considerable risk and now find their lives threatened. of the Taliban.

Reports this Friday say that while previous versions claimed that Dominic Raab had delegated the phone call to a junior minister, in fact no such call was made.

The foreign secretary now has issued a statement, responding to “inaccurate media reports.”

The government has been “working tirelessly” to evacuate people from Afghanistan and its “top priority has been to secure the Kabul airport so that flights can leave,” he says.

Political opponents accuse the foreign secretary of failing to follow his own ministry’s advice to “urgently” call his Afghan counterpart Hanif Atmar on Friday (August 13) last week, two days before the Taliban marched on Kabul. , to try to organize the evacuation. of Afghan workers.

Raab says the advice to call Kabul was “quickly overtaken by events” and in any case the Afghan minister was unable to take the call.

The Labor Party has listed 18 questions for Dominic Raab to answer about his vacation in Crete and the government arrangements to deal with the Afghan crisis in his absence. None are addressed in the minister’s statement.

When asked this week if he would resign, the minister replied “no.” At least one colleague in the government has defended him, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace saying that a phone call from Raab would have made “no difference” as the Afghan government “was melting faster than ice.”

But nevertheless, AP has listed A senior Afghan official said senior government personalities, including the foreign minister, left the country on Monday and flew to Istanbul three days after the British government may have issued a direct appeal.

“As the Taliban advanced on Kabul, when every hour, every minute mattered to safeguard the achievements that British troops had made at great personal sacrifice over the past 20 years, he did not even pick up the phone.” said shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy. “The position of the chancellor is untenable.”

Among the attacks on Raab, other reports claim that officials at the Foreign Ministry and some politicians from his own ruling Conservative party are unhappy with his performance, claiming that he lacks the diplomatic skills necessary for the job.

For now, Boris Johnson is next to his foreign minister, but there are reports that he could be moved in an upcoming government shakeup.

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