Asia Pacific

Global reaction to Taliban takeover of Afghanistan

5 minute read

A member of Taliban forces inspects the area outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

Aug 16 (Reuters) - Following are some of the latest reactions to the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan:

BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY DOMINIC RAAB

Britain will use all the means it has at its disposal to hold the Taliban to account in Afghanistan, Raab said when asked about possible sanctions against the country.

UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTONIO GUTERRES

Guterres called on the U.N. Security Council to "use all tools at its disposal to suppress the global terrorist threat in Afghanistan" and guarantee that basic human rights will be respected.

U.S. REPUBLICAN SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM

"If President Biden truly has no regrets about his decision to withdraw, then he is disconnected from reality when it comes to Afghanistan."

U.S. REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE JIM BANKS

"We have never seen an American leader abdicate his responsibilities and leadership like Joe Biden has. He's in hiding. The lights are on at the White House, but nobody's home. Where is Joe Biden?"

JIM MESSINA, A WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF UNDER FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

"We've been there 20 years. It's America's longest-running war, it is time to get out," he said on Fox. "Why should American troops be fighting a civil war that Afghan troops this week refused to fight for themselves, it was time to get out."

TALIBAN SPOKESMAN MOHAMMAD NAEEM

"We ask all countries and entities to sit with us to settle any issues," he told Al Jazeera TV.

"We have reached what we were seeking, which is the freedom of our country and the independence of our people.

"We do not think that foreign forces will repeat their failed experience in Afghanistan once again."

U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JAKE SULLIVAN

"He (President Joe Biden) is prepared to marshall the international community on this issue. He cares passionately about these human rights questions," he told NBC's Today.

"But that was not a reason for the United States to enter a third decade of war in the middle of an internal conflict in another country."

IRANIAN PRESIDENT EBRAHIM RAISI

"America's military defeat and its withdrawal must become an opportunity to restore life, security and durable peace in Afghanistan.

"Iran backs efforts to restore stability in Afghanistan and, as a neighbouring and brother nation, Iran invites all groups in Afghanistan to reach a national agreement."

EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF JOSEP BORRELL

"Afghanistan stands at a crossroads. Security and wellbeing of its citizens, as well as international security, are at play," he said, convening EU foreign ministers.

QATAR FOREIGN MINISTER MOHAMMED BIN ABDULRAHMAN AL-THANI

"There is international concern about the fast pace of developments and Qatar is doing its utmost to bring a peaceful transition, especially after the vacuum that happened."

BRITISH DEFENCE SECRETARY BEN WALLACE

"I acknowledge that the Taliban are in control of the country," he told Sky News. "I mean, you don't have to be a political scientist to spot that's where we're at.

"That's not on the cards, that we're going to go back."

"The proof of the pudding will be obviously in their (Taliban's) actions rather than their rhetoric."

SOMALIA'S AL SHABAAB INSURGENTS

"Allahu Akbar (God is greatest), congratulations," al Shabaab's radio station said. "The U.S. and other hundreds of thousands of foreign forces fled the country. The 20-year jihad (struggle) has become reality."

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL

"This topic will keep us busy for a very long time," she said, according to sources in her party, referring to evacuations and those fleeing Afghanistan.

PAUL ZIEMIAK, GENERAL SECRETARY OF MERKEL'S CDU PARTY

"For us, it is clear that 2015 (immigration wave) must not be repeated. We won't be able to solve the Afghanistan question through migration to Germany."

AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON

"As a partner committed for many years to helping Afghanistan build its future, we are deeply concerned at the potential for further loss of life and suffering.

"The Taliban will be held fully accountable for any killing or other mistreatment of Afghan military and other security forces who have surrendered or been captured."

NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER JACINDA ARDERN

"What we want to see is women and girls being able to access work and education. These are things that have traditionally not been available to them where there has been governance by Taliban.

"The whole world is watching. Taliban is making claims about the type of administration they wish to be. We would implore them to allow people to leave safely.

"It's not a matter of trust - it's going to be all about the actions, not the words."

Reporting by Reuters bureaux; Compiled by Andrew Cawthorne and Jane Merriman; Editing by Jan Harvey and Alex Richardson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

More from Reuters