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Afghanistan and national security threats to the UK: Lords Committee to question Foreign Office and Defence Ministers

Friday 13 November 2020

On Tuesday 17 November 2020, to conclude its inquiry into the UK’s diplomatic, military and aid strategy for Afghanistan, the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee will hear evidence on the importance of Afghanistan as a national security and foreign policy priority for the UK, tackling Afghanistan’s role as the source of 95% of heroin on the UK’s streets, and whether the UK would be willing to work with the Taliban.

The virtual evidence session will start at 10am and will be available to follow live on Parliament TV

Giving evidence will be

10am

  • Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, and Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and;
  • Baroness Goldie, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence.

Other questions will include;

Peace talks

  • Does the UK consider the Taliban to be an organisation it can potentially work with? If it were brought into the Afghan government, would the UK continue to provide financial and other support? 

US – Taliban agreement

  • Many commentators have described the planned US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 as precipitate. What is the Government’s view? What discussions have you had, or do you plan to have, with your US counterparts about the possibility of a delay or additional conditions to be met by the Taliban before the withdrawal?
  • To what extent would the UK, and other NATO Allies, consider acting separately to the US, for example keeping their troops in Afghanistan through the Resolute Support Mission in the case of a full US military withdrawal? Have such discussions been held?

Development policy

  • Witnesses have told us that there has been a decrease in UK and international funding for human rights and women’s rights programmes in Afghanistan in recent years. Is that the case, and if so, why?
  • Will UK aid to Afghanistan be affected by the cut to the UK’s overall development budget announced in July?

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