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Afghanistan crisis: China and Russia unlikely to moderate Taliban in interest of West

Biden on Afghanistan: 'We're outraged as well as heartbroken'

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This week, Beijing and Moscow project a united front over the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan as they both pledged to cooperate on handling its aftermath. Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated China’s position of non-interference and respecting Afghanistan’s sovereignty and independence.

According to reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Chinese counterpart that he shares Beijing’s positions and interests in Afghanistan.

He said he is willing to work together to “prevent foreign forces from interfering and destroying” the country.

Now, human rights activist, Philip Baldwin, has warned it is “wishful thinking” to rely on Beijing and Moscow to moderate the Taliban in the interests of the West.

He told Express.co.uk: “Our goal has to be to offer safe and legal routes for refugees out of Afghanistan, to the neighbouring countries and then, for some, on to Europe, the UK and the USA.

“China and Russia are also speaking to the Taliban, but the UK and the USA have difficult relationships with both these countries.

“In my view, it is wishful thinking to rely on China and Russia to moderate the Taliban in our interests.”

During the phone call, President Xi called for the new Taliban dispensation to “thoroughly dissociate from all terrorist groups and maintain friendly relations with the rest of the world, especially neighbouring countries”.

According to national broadcaster China Central Television, Xi said: “We intend to establish a political framework for open and tolerant interaction with all interested parties in Afghanistan.”

Mr Putin also said Russia wants to work with China to fight terrorism and drugs smuggling and to prevent security risks from “spilling out” of Afghanistan.

But Mr Baldwin has called for Western nations to put on a united front and an “aligned approach” but warned it is “too soon to say” if this is a tipping point.

He added: “Going forwards, ideally, Western nations would unite and project an aligned approach.

“In my view, it is too soon to say that this is a tipping point.

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“The USA did not have the political appetite to keep troops indefinitely in Afghanistan.

“However, we should not make assumptions about the USA’s foreign policy elsewhere or declare this ‘the end of an era”‘.

“Joe Biden’s tone remains internationalist rather than isolationist.”

Thousands of Afghan people are attempting to flee the country following the Taliban takeover.

The number of those in Afghanistan eligible to enter the UK has risen from just 6,000 to a little over 12,000.

However, following an attack at Kabul airport on Thursday which killed 13 US troops and 78 Afghans, the final British flights went ahead on Friday.

This means thousands of people eligible to be resettled in the UK have been left behind.

On Friday, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told Sky News: “We will process the people that we’ve brought with us, the 1,000 people approximately in the airfield now and we will seek a way to continue to find a few people in the crowds where we can, but overall the main processing is now closed and we have a matter of hours.

“The sad fact is not every single one will get out.

“The threat is obviously going to grow the closer we get to leaving.”

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