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25th Aug 2021

Boris Johnson makes cash offer to Taliban

Charlie Herbert

Boris Johnson makes cash offer to Taliban

The offer involves making hundreds of millions available to the Taliban

Boris Johnson has suggested making a huge cash sum available to the Taliban if the militant group agree to follow a number of conditions.

The PM’s proposal, made during a meeting with world leaders at a G7 summit on Tuesday, comes as the government races to evacuate Afghans and British citizens from Afghanistan before August 31, when the US will remove its troops from Kabul. This will effectively end the UK’s evacuation efforts.

There are fears for the safety of Afghan citizens who remain in the country, and in particular what the new Taliban regime will mean for women’s rights. Reports have already emerged of women being killed for ‘bad cooking‘ and not wearing a burqa.

Johnson held an emergency summit with world leaders on Tuesday night to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. During this meeting, he suggested the G7 unfreeze £330m in funds for the Taliban leaders, in return for the militants guaranteeing “safe passage” for those that want to leave the country.

Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund blocked access to the emergency reserves for Afghanistan. Downing Street has said it is too early to say how much money would be made available, but the G7 has suggested it would largely be spent on humanitarian assistance.

The Mail reports that Johnson said: “Today the G7 agreed a roadmap for future engagement with the Taliban.

“If those huge funds are going to be unfrozen eventually for use by the government and people of Afghanistan, then what we’re saying is Afghanistan can’t lurch back into becoming a breeding ground of terror, Afghanistan can’t become a narco-state, girls have to be educated up to the age of 18, and so on.

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“Those are important things that we value as G7, those are things that unite us in the West, those are things for which we fought for years in Afghanistan, and for which people in this country gave their lives.

“The point that was made today by G7 leaders is that we remain committed to those values and we remain committed to Afghanistan.”

Johnson added that the “number one condition” being sought was the safe passage beyond the 31st, “beyond this initial phase, for those who want to leave Afghanistan”.