Former British soldier freed by Taliban, as UK officials meet the group

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A former British soldier who was detained in Afghanistan has been freed after UK officials made the first visit to the country to talk to the Taliban as the Islamist group seized power.

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Ben Slater, who was arrested on the Pakistani border while trying to evacuate 50 company employees, along with their families, flew to Qatar on Tuesday with Sir Simon Gass and Martin Longden.

Britain’s High Representative for Afghanistan Sir Simon and in-charge d’affairs Dr Longden in Doha met with senior Taliban leaders to discuss a range of issues including safe passage for those entitled to access Britain, the humanitarian crisis facing . The increase in the number of attacks carried out by ISIS in the country, and in the country.


Senior British diplomatic sources wanted to emphasize that the first visit by Western officials since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan did not indicate Britain was recognizing Islamists as the country’s legitimate government.

While supporters of the Taliban such as Pakistan and Qatar are demanding broader international recognition of the Taliban regime, Western states are reluctant to do so because Islamists have failed to advance an inclusive administration, launching vengeful attacks on opponents. and practice widespread discrimination against women.

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Taliban Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Kahar Balkhi said British officials had been asked to help release hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Afghan assets frozen abroad. He said his government wanted Britain to “start a new chapter of constructive relations” and that the talks were “focused on detailed discussions on how to revive diplomatic ties between the two countries”.

The Qatari government is believed to have facilitated the release of Mr Slater, a former member of the Royal Military Police and CEO of Afghanistan-based consultancy Nomads Concept Group, who was arrested last month.

The 37-year-old former soldier, who in the past served as a bodyguard to British ambassadors abroad, tried to enter Pakistan along with 400 Afghan nationals. It is not known whether any of the Afghan employees or their families later managed to leave. Country.


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