UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reiterated Britain’s support to Afghanistan in its fight against the Taliban, as part of the wider North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) alliance.
In a phone call from Downing Street in London with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday, Johnson also agreed on the importance of making progress in peace talks to secure a sovereign, democratic and united Afghanistan.
“He [Johnson] reiterated the UK’s longstanding support for the Afghan government’s fight against the Taliban as part of the NATO coalition,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.
In February last year, the US and Taliban signed a peace agreement in Doha, Qatar, which provisioned withdrawal of all American and NATO troops from war-torn Afghanistan by May 1.
“They agreed on the importance of making progress in peace talks to secure a sovereign, democratic and united Afghanistan, and to preserve the gains made by civil society and women and girls,” the Downing Street spokesperson said.
The US-Taliban Peace Agreement also mentioned a pledge from the Taliban to prevent militant forces from operating in its areas, and dialogue between the Taliban and the Afghanistan government.
Besides regional matters, Johnson and Ghani discussed the Covid-19 crisis and global efforts around access to vaccines to combat the pandemic.
“The Prime Minister and President Ghani also discussed global efforts to tackle the pandemic and the rollout of vaccines in Afghanistan and the UK,” Downing Street said.
The conversation between the two leaders comes amidst a review of the US-Taliban peace deal by the Joe Biden-led US administration, creating uncertainty over the future course of events.