My statement on the tragic events in Afghanistan:
The tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan are heartbreaking to watch and local people are rightly concerned. The difficult reality is that without the USA, we cannot impose a military solution ourselves. The American President has been clear that after 20 years of conflict, they are withdrawing their forces and had agreed this with the Taliban last year.
Our focus now has to be on extracting British nationals and those who assisted British forces during the last 20 years. With a population of 40 million Afgans, we must do all that we can to persuade the Taliban to respect basic human rights and the rights of women in Afghanistan. How we do this is going to be one of the biggest foreign policy challenges facing us going forward, as there are an increasing number of hostile states opposed to our values on freedom and democracy.