Alastair Campbell insists UK must engage with Taliban but keep little leverage

We have 'limited leverage' with Taliban says Alastair Campbell

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British political strategist Alastair Campbell has urged the UK government to work with the Taliban, using the “limited leverage” that the UK has. It came after the last British soldiers were evacuated from Afghanistan, bringing to an end the UK’s 20-year military involvement in Afghanistan.

Alastair Campbell told on Jeremy Vine show: “I agree that in relation to the Northern Ireland process, which I was very, very closely involved.  

“In the end, it was resolved. Sadly, now being put at risk again, but it was resolved by talking, by negotiation.

“But part of the process towards that is how you deal with that limited leverage that you have.”

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He went on: “I think if it’s true, I’ve not seen that story about Johnson saying come and have an embassy now-I think that would be a terrible mistake to do that right now.

“There is limited leverage you have to use it as best you can.

“But ultimately, as a country, it does affect our strategic interest and it does affect our security interest.”

Mr Campbell added: “So we have to be engaged.


“The question is the extent of that engagement and how quickly you formalise it.”

The final evacuation flight left Kabul on Saturday, bringing to an end the UK’s 20-year military involvement in Afghanistan. 

Since 14 August, more than 15,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan.

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Boris Johnson said the UK’s departure was “the culmination of a mission unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes”.

In a statement released after the evacuation of the last UK personnel, the PM said: “UK troops and officials have worked around the clock to a remorseless deadline in harrowing conditions.

“They’ve seen at first-hand barbaric terrorist attacks on the queues of people they were trying to comfort, as well as on our American friends.

“It’s thanks to their colossal exertions that this country has now processed, checked, vetted and airlifted more than 15,000 people to safety in less than two weeks.”
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