UK Parliament Recalled for Afghan Debate Next Week as Taliban Enters Kabul
14:00 GMT 15.08.2021 (Updated: 15:15 GMT 28.05.2023)
Three prominent Tory backbenchers have criticised Prime Minister Boris Johnson for failing to oppose the Taliban's return to power in Afghanistan and called for a new military intervention, even as talks on a transfer of power were underway in Kabul.
The British Parliament will be recalled next week for an emergency debate on the situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban is set to form a new government after 20 years of war.
Downing Street said on Sunday that MPs, currently on their summer recess break, would sit for five hours on 18 August to discuss the crisis, which has seen 600 UK troops re-deployed to cover a hurried evacuation of the British Embassy.
"The prime minister has convened a COBRA meeting for later this afternoon to discuss the situation in Afghanistan", a spokesperson added, referring to the government's emergency response committee.
Johnson ruled out a full-scale military intervention following the last COBRA meeting on Friday.
— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) August 15, 2021
But the Taliban — banned in Russia as a terrorist organisation — had already entered the Afghan capital Kabul in the morning with no resistance from the US-trained and equipped army. Their leader, Mullah Abdul Baradar, is reportedly set to be declared president after the resignation of US-backed incumbent Ashraf Ghani, while US military helicopters evacuate their embassy amid images starkly reminiscent of the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.
— Republic (@republic) August 15, 2021