Afghanistan: Armed Conflict

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 5th March 2021.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to advocate for the protection of civilians in dangerous parts of Afghanistan.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK is deeply concerned about the current levels of violence throughout Afghanistan, including targeted attacks on civilians, which risk undermining peace efforts. There is an urgent need for a reduction in violence, leading to a comprehensive ceasefire, and meaningful engagement in a political process that can deliver the peace that Afghans want and deserve. In discussions with Afghanistan Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar on 18 January and 11 February respectively, the Minister of State for South Asia, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon expressed the UK's condemnation of the increasing violence faced by the people of Afghanistan.

The UK is committed to supporting security and stability in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister spoke to the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, on 26 February. He reiterated the UK's longstanding support for the Afghan government's fight against the Taliban as part of the NATO coalition. There are around 750 UK troops in Afghanistan as part of NATO's mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces. British military personnel act as advisors to Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) and lead the Kabul Security Force, which protects and enables NATO advisers, improving security in the capital. The UK will continue to help sustain the ANDSF, including through funding and other support, as they work to ensure the protection of civilians, lasting peace and long-term security and stability for the benefit of all Afghans.

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