Former UK defence chief urges the West to ‘recognise’ the IEA

The former head of the UK’s armed forces, General Sir David Richards, has called on Western countries to formally recognise the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA).

Richards, the UK Chief of Defence Staff from 2010 to 2013, said it was time to accept that the war in Afghanistan had been lost and work with the IEA, BBC reported on Monday.

No country has yet recognised the Afghan administration, which seized power in August following a lightning offensive bolstered by the withdrawal of US and NATO troops.

“I think the West is going to end up recognising the Taliban (IEA) government. If that’s the case, then we better get on with it sooner rather than later,” said Richards in a BBC Radio 4 broadcast.

Calls for the West to recognise the IEA, and in the process unlock frozen foreign assets, have increased amid a worsening humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said last week that his administration had “come closer” to their “goal” of recognition.