Where did Dominic Raab go on holiday as the Taliban took over Afghanistan?

Foreign secretary spotted on the beach as Kabul fell

Travel Desk
Thursday 19 August 2021 14:11 BST
‘No one saw this coming,’ says Dominic Raab on swift Taliban takeover of Afghanistan

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


The UK’s foreign secretary was spotted sunning himself on holiday as the news emerged that Kabul in Afghanistan had been taken over by Islamist military group the Taliban.

Dominic Raab was reportedly enjoying some time off on the beach while the Afghan capital fell.

But where did he go on holiday, and did he cut short his getaway to return to the UK?

Where did Dominic Raab go on holiday?

The foreign secretary was seen relaxing at a five-star resort in on the Greek island of Crete.

The hotel has since been identified as the Amirandes on the east side of the island, which describes itself as a “unique hotel built around water” that “allures you at every turn”.

“We were surprised to see Dominic Raab lounging around on the beach on the very day Kabul was falling into Taliban hands,” a fellow holidaymaker told The Telegraph.

“It was definitely him. I’m not political and obviously accept everyone is allowed a holiday. But the foreign secretary shouldn’t be on the beach on the very day Afghanistan is imploding.

“He certainly wasn’t roughing it. He was on the beach all day yesterday.”

The Foreign Office said it was “wholly inaccurate” to suggest Mr Raab had been on the beach for a significant length of time.

Is Dominic Raab still on holiday?

No, although reports suggested he only left the Greek island on Monday 16 August, despite Taliban forces storming the Afghan capital the previous day.

What has Dominic Raab said about his holiday?

When asked if he regretted not returning from his holiday earlier, Mr Raab said that, “in retrospect”, he wouldn’t have gone away had he known the “scale of the Taliban takeover”.

“Everyone was caught off-guard by the pace, scale of the Taliban takeover,” he told Sky News.

“When [foreign secretaries] are abroad, whether it’s travel for work or for holiday, we are there able to respond to events. So I was engaged in Cobra, talking to foreign counterparts, directly speaking to the head of our team here in London, I was doing that on an hour-by-hour basis and, of course, I left as soon as the situation deteriorated and demanded it.”

Mr Raab said that “from my point of view, at any point in time, I will have eight to 10 simmering issues that can bubble up,” adding that people in positions of power deserved a break after “two years of a very gruelling, demanding schedule”.

“We didn’t predict that we would be doing this on this scale because of the Taliban takeover,” he said.

“But look, in retrospect of course I wouldn’t have gone on holiday if I had known that would be the case.”

The foreign secretary is now facing calls to resign after he reportedly failed to make a vital call over the evacuation of Afghan interpreters while he was in Greece.

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