Dominic Raab is expected to land in the UK today as Afghanistan faces crisis (Pictures: AFP/EPA/Getty Images)
The foreign secretary is returning to the UK as the Taliban is close to taking control of Afghanistan.
The Taliban say they will soon declare the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as President Ashraf Ghani flees the country.
The Foreign Office said Mr Raab is expected to land in Britain today but refused to reveal where he had been, MailOnline reports.
It comes after he was slammed for his silence on the escalating situation in Afghanistan by the Tory foreign affairs committee chair.
Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat said: ‘I don’t know what is in the works because we haven’t heard from the Foreign Secretary in about a week – despite this being the biggest single policy disaster since Suez’.
Mr Raab finally spoke up today, tweeting: ‘Shared my deep concerns about the future for Afghanistan with FM Qureshi.
‘Agreed it is critical that the international community is united in telling the Taliban that the violence must end and human rights must be protected.’
Boris Johnson said the West needs to work collectively to ensure Afghanistan doesn’t become a ‘breeding ground for terror’ again.
An FCDO spokesperson said the foreign secretary was ‘personally overseeing the FCDO response, and engaging with international partners’.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Tugendhat added: ‘This isn’t just about interpreters or guards. This is about those people who we trained in special forces to serve alongside us, those who helped us to understand the territory through our agencies and our diplomats.
‘This is the people who, on our encouragement, set up schools for girls. These people are all at risk now.
‘The real danger is that we are going to see every female MP murdered, we are going to see ministers strung up on street lamps.’
One MP said the country hadn’t heard from Mr Raab in a week (Picture: ANDY RAIN/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Taliban fighters patrol in Kandahar, Afghanistan, 15 August 2021 (Picture: EPA)
The group stormed the last major city today (Picture: EPA)
The prime minister said getting British nationals out ‘as fast as we can’ is his priority following an emergency Cobra meeting in Downing Street.
MPs have been called back from their summer holidays to gather in Parliament on Wednesday for five hours of crisis talks.
Mr Johnson said: ‘Our priority is to make sure that we deliver on our obligations to British nationals in Afghanistan, all those who helped the British effort in Afghanistan over 20 years.
‘The ambassador has been there at the airport to process the applications.’
The Tory leader was asked if human rights is now no longer a priority and replied: ‘Of course we continue to attach huge importance to human rights, to equalities.
‘Think of everything that the UK has helped to achieve over the last 20 years, the sacrifice of that mission, a lot of women and girls were educated thanks to the efforts of the UK.
‘Rights, human rights and equalities were promoted and protected in a way that Afghanistan hadn’t seen before.
‘Of course we don’t want to see that thrown away and what we’re trying to do now is to concert the rest of the like-minded around the world, of whom there are a great many, to make sure that we don’t prematurely bilaterally recognise a new government in Kabul without forming a common view and setting the same conditions about how that Government should.
‘And yes of course it’s not just about terrorism, it’s about human rights and many other things.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.