UK Foreign Secretary Defends His Handling of Afghan Crisis Amid Calls to Resign

© AP Photo / Antonio CalanniBritish Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab arrives in Matera, Italy, for a G20 foreign affairs ministers' meeting Tuesday, June 29, 2021.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab arrives in Matera, Italy, for a G20 foreign affairs ministers' meeting Tuesday, June 29, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.08.2021
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LONDON (Sputnik) – UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab defended on Friday his handling of the crisis in Afghanistan amid mounting criticism for allegedly refusing to interrupt his holidays to call his Afghan counterpart, Hanif Atmar, to discuss the evacuation of Afghan interpreters ahead of the Taliban (terrorist group, banned in Russia) takeover.
"The call was delegated to a Minister of State because I was prioritising security and capacity at the airport on the direct advice of the Director and the Director-General overseeing the crisis response," Raab said in a statement.
The UK foreign secretary, who was vacationing in Crete, Greece, said the whole government had been working "tirelessly" over the last week to help as many people evacuate from Afghanistan as possible.
Raab’s refusal to personally speak to the Afghan minister has prompted criticism and calls to resign from the opposition.
"If Dominic Raab doesn't have the decency to resign, the prime minister must show a shred of leadership and sack him," Labour shadow foreign minister Lisa Nandy said in a statement.
On Sunday, the Taliban completed their takeover of Afghanistan by entering Kabul. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country to prevent what he described as bloodshed that would occur if militants had to fight for the city. Most countries have reduced or evacuated their diplomatic missions in Kabul.
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