Results 5981–6000 of 6340 for speaker:Boris Johnson

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: With permission, I will make a statement on the UK’s policy towards Afghanistan. Twenty years ago, Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda leadership had turned Afghanistan into the epicentre of global terrorism, where, in the words of the author Ahmed Rashid: “everything was available—training, funding, communications and inspiration.” It was in the mountain ranges of this sanctuary that...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: I am very grateful to the right hon. Lady for what she said and particularly the spirit in which she said it, so let me try to address some of her points. It is clear that what is happening now is a follow-up to what was very largely the withdrawal—the end of military operations—in 2014. The presence since then has been much smaller, but a great deal of good work has continued to be done...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: I am sure that the whole House will want to thank my hon. Friend for his service in Afghanistan and for all the good that he did with his fellow serving men and women in Afghanistan, but as I think he conceded in his question, what the UK has been able to do in Afghanistan has not been possible through our efforts alone. We have to work with others, and of course the United States plays a...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: Again, I thank the right hon. Gentleman for the spirit and the content of his remarks. On the substance of his questions to me, our assessment is that the threat from Afghanistan to this country has very substantially diminished as a result of the actions by the UK and our friends over the last 20 years, although clearly a threat remains, and the extent of that threat will now depend on...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: I must caution my right hon. Friend that I do not think that is the right way forward at this stage. He calls this a retreat. This was never intended, at any stage, to be an open-ended commitment or engagement by UK armed services in Afghanistan. There was no intention for us to remain there forever. As the House knows, Operation Herrick concluded in 2014. At that stage, the Army conducted a...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: Yes. We are going to continue to support the Afghan national security and defence forces, as I pledged to President Ghani, with at least another £58 million. We are working with the regional actors, particularly Pakistan. The right hon. Gentleman knows that the Pakistan security services have a very considerable influence in Afghanistan. We are working with the Pakistani Government and with...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: Yes, as I said in my answers to the right hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne and other Members who have effectively asked the same question, the circumstances in 2001 when this country went into Afghanistan were quite exceptional. NATO’s article 5 of mutual appeal for defence was invoked by our American friends. That is why we went in and it was a quite exceptional moment. Since then, in the...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: I thank the right hon. Gentleman. I am of course aware of what is happening in Tehran and the contacts that are taking place, and the role of the UK Government is to promote dialogue. I have said what I have said about the Taliban and the reality of the situation that Afghanistan finds itself in. I do not think that the Taliban are capable of victory by military means, a point I have made...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: I thank my right hon. Friend, who knows a great deal about Afghanistan and the problems it faces. Of course, we have raised repeatedly with our American friends and other NATO colleagues the legacy that we wish to preserve in Afghanistan, particularly the gains made for women, and they understand that. In all candour, I must be honest and say that I do not think that the military options open...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: The right hon. Gentleman makes an important point. Obviously, the Taliban have for several years now controlled a considerable part of Afghanistan, as he knows, and it is during that period that we have not seen terrorist operations launched against the wider world. What may weigh on the Taliban’s minds as they think about whether to allow the Khorasan province group, the Haqqani network...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: I thank my right hon. Friend for his question. Afghanistan was never occupied, and nor is this an evacuation. What we will certainly look at—I think this is the point he was getting at—in addition to working with our friends and partners in the region is to what extent counter-terrorist activity can be conducted from outside Afghanistan on an outside-in basis.

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: I thank my right hon. Friend. I know that this is a subject that he has returned to many times in this House, and I understand how deeply he feels about it and how much he understands it. It is still the case that we were the third biggest bilateral donor to Afghanistan last year. We are committing a further £100 million per year to the people of Afghanistan, plus the military and logistical...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: This country remains, as I have just told the House, one of the biggest bilateral donors of aid to Afghanistan in the world. The people of this country should take great pride in that. A statistic I did not mention earlier, to get back to the hon. Lady’s earlier point, is that, partly thanks to the work of UK aid and the whole NATO mission, mortality for women and children in Afghanistan...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: A couple of quick points. It is important for my hon. Friends not to exaggerate our ability, by military might alone, to stop parts of Afghanistan already being used for terrorist purposes if that were what the Taliban desired to do, given that they already possess substantial portions of that country. It is also the case that there are many other parts of the world that can be used as a base...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: I thank the hon. Gentleman and join him in paying tribute to the sacrifice of all serving men and women of the Irish Guards, the Royal Irish Regiment, as well as all those who sacrificed their lives in Afghanistan, and everything they did to protect the people of that country. As he knows, the UK helped to train about 5,500 officers in the Afghan security and defence forces. We will continue...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: I share completely the feelings of my right hon. Friend and join him in thanking the men and women of the Welsh Guards and all other armed forces who did so much in so many ways in terms of sanitation, electricity and generally improving the life chances of the people of Afghanistan. We will do whatever we can from now on—diplomatically, politically and with our development budgets—to...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: No, I absolutely do not believe that the sacrifice of British troops over the past 20 years has been in vain. I believe that they are leaving a lasting legacy in Afghanistan. In 20 years, they have helped substantially to reduce the threat of terrorism. As I have told the House candidly, of course that threat has not gone away. We must do everything that we can to ensure that the Taliban...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: The Chinese are not as yet a very major player in Afghanistan, but my right hon. Friend is absolutely right: it is vital that the people of Afghanistan should determine their own future.

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: The hon. Lady is absolutely right to draw attention to the problems that veterans of conflicts have experienced, particularly the health and mental health problems. Last year we put another £16 million into veterans’ health—mental health, in particular—and this year the number has gone up to £17 million. We also want to make sure that we are clear with people signing up for our armed...

Afghanistan (8 Jul 2021)

Boris Johnson: I thank my hon. Friend for her service in Afghanistan for the BBC World Service. I know that she knows and cares deeply about that that country. We will of course work with the Americans and all our NATO allies to achieve the objectives that she sets out, particularly protecting this country against terrorist threats, but also making sure that any settlement that we are able to encourage...


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