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Watch: Afghan president flees country as Taliban move in on Kabul
An Afghan minister has said she can't believe the country's President has fled.
Speaking from the capital Kabul as Taliban insurgents take control of the country, the Minister of Education Rangina Hamidi said she didn't expect such a response from a President who she "trusted fully".
Afghan leader Ashraf Ghani reportedly fled Afghanistan after Taliban fighters entered Kabul, and is believed to be in Tajikistan.
Speaking to the BBC, Hamidi said: "I'm in shock, I'm in disbelief. I did not think that things would happen the way it did.
"And the saddest part is that I didn't expect this. I didn't expect this from the President that I knew and a President who I trusted fully."
"Somehow in my heart, in the back of my mind, I still want to believe that this is not true - that he left - but if he did, it's really a shame."
“I’m in shock and disbelief”
Afghanistan’s Minister of Education Rangina Hamidi says she didn’t expect the president to leave the country as she “trusted him fully”https://t.co/hHMv4FptLI pic.twitter.com/JlS9Ics6JW
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 15, 2021
Her comments come as Boris Johnson called a meeting of the Government Cobra emergencies committee to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, which has been gradually worsening over recent weeks, with Taliban fighters taking control of cities across the country.
The escalating situation has sparked criticism of both the UK and the United States for the handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which some say allowed the Taliban to regain control shockingly quickly.
The chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, said it was "the biggest single foreign policy disaster since Suez".
Tugendhat, who chairs the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, criticised the US for withdrawing air support from Afghan forces, saying: "We’ve just pulled the rug from under these guys. We’ve taken away their air support, we’ve taken away their logistics, and we’ve said to them: 'Go on then, let’s see how you do.'"
On Friday Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warned that the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan would leave "a very big problem on the ground" while former Armed Forces Minister Johnny Mercer, said the Afghan armed forces had been let down by both the US and UK governments, telling Sky News: “It’s heartbreaking to watch. We will reap the repercussions from this for many years to come."
On Sunday Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "I think it’s fair to say that the US decision to pull out has accelerated things, but this has been in many ways something that has been a chronicle of an event foretold.
"We’ve known for a long time that this was the way things were going and as I’ve said before, this is a mission whose military component really ended for the UK in 2014.
"What we’re dealing with now is the very likely advent of a new regime in Kabul.
"We don’t know exactly what kind of a regime that will be.
"What we want to do is make sure that we as the UK pull together our international partners, our like-minded partners, so that we deal with that regime in a concerted way."
Watch: Afghanistan must not become 'breeding ground for terror' once again, PM says