Afghanistan should be left 'to get on with things' – British ambassador
The international community has been hand-holding Afghanistan for long enough and Kabul should now be left to get on with running the country without the west's constant interference, the British ambassador in Kabul has said.
In an interview with the Guardian, Sir Richard Stagg said it was also clear that the Taliban had grown tired of camping across the border in Pakistan and had accepted they needed to be involved in peace and reconciliation talks over the next two years if they were to have any hope of sharing power.
The Foreign Office does not believe the complex obstacles to negotiations are insurmountable, which will give further encouragement to the voices in Whitehall pushing for an acceleration of the British military and civilian withdrawal.Stagg acknowledged that the debate about withdrawal was ongoing and hinted that he believed a faster drawdown was not only possible, but preferable:
"The question is: how fast do you hand over? It's not a gulf of difference. It is a spectrum and it depends on your judgment on the progress we are making. And on the security side we are making good progress.