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Taliban have all the cards US,UK have little leverage to contain Afghanistan unrest

Afghanistan: ‘Taliban have all the cards’ says expert

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Former UK Ambassador to Afghanistan William Patey has warned that the west has “very little leverage” over Afghanistan to contain unrest and that the Talliban has “all the cards”. It came after president Joe Biden said that the US would evacuate all citizens and personnel by August 31 with no extensions, despite allies urging the US to postpone the deadline. 

Speaking on BBC Newsnight, William Patey said: “The west has very little leverage.

“Most of that leverage was negotiated away with the agreement in February 2020 by the Trump administration when they agreed to withdraw troops without any guarantees about future political settlement in Afghanistan or any guarantees about future Taliban behavior.

“There is some leverage in that development assistance.”

Read more: Biden blasted for Taliban appeasement – ‘Makes Neville Chamberlain look like Churchill

He continued: ‘The $9 billion of Afghan reserves are frozen in New York.

Sir William continued: “Their biggest problems are they’re inheriting a country that’s very different from the one the two Coover is in the mid-90s with 20 years of girls education and education generally.

“So the population of Afghanistan is much more literate than there was 20 years ago.”

President Joe Biden says the US is “on pace” to meet a 31 August deadline for evacuations, despite previous calls from the UK and other countries for an extension.

He said: “The sooner we finish the better.”

Most American troops have already been withdrawn since the President announced he wanted all soldiers out by September 11.

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Since Kabul fell to the Taliban nine days ago, at least 70,700 people have been airlifted.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said 9,000 British nationals, Afghans who worked for British forces have been evacuated from Afghanistan so far.

Mr Raab said the Taliban group needs to be more “inclusive” and “moderate” at a conference yesterday.

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