Afghanistan’s neighbours ask Taliban to fulfil commitments

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ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan’s neighbours have sent a clear message to the Taliban government that it should fulfill its commitments made with the international community.

This came in a joint statement issued after a meeting of foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighbours, including Russia, held in Tehran on Wednesday.

The foreign ministers of Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Russia attended the meeting while Afghanistan was not invited to the moot, where the UN secretary-general sent a video message. The third round of the meeting will be held in China in 2022.

The statement asked the new Afghan rulers to ensure that Afghan territory will not pose any threats to the neighbouring countries and that it will not be used by criminal, terrorist and separatist groups.

It also urged Kabul to cut ties with all terrorist groups and decisively eliminate them.

The declaration in the joint statement pointed out that the neighbouring countries supported a durable and realistic settlement of differences through dialogue and negotiations among the relevant parties for achieving national reconciliation, lasting political solution and the formation of an inclusive government.

The foreign ministers also called on the relevant Afghan parties to take a friendly approach toward neighbouring countries and respect universally-accepted principles of international law and fundamental human rights and protect the safety and legitimate rights of foreign nationals and institutions in Afghanistan.

All the FMs agreed that the countries primarily responsible for the difficulties in Afghanistan should earnestly deliver on their commitment, and provide Afghanistan with urgently-needed economic, livelihood and humanitarian assistance to help realise a stable transition of the situation in Afghanistan.

It also called on the relevant Afghan parties to implement modest and prudent internal and external policies, return to the normal order of the society as soon as possible, realise the effective operation of government agencies, provide basic public services to people, take actions to improve people’s livelihood and protect the fundamental rights of ethnic groups, women and children in Afghanistan.

Some of the other issues that were of importance for the various Afghan parties related to confronting various threats and challenges, including terrorism, drug smuggling and human trafficking, crackdown on organised crime and other criminal acts originating from Afghanistan and taking into consideration the terrorism threats and counterterrorism effectiveness, discuss through bilateral or multilateral channels the possibility of restarting counter-terrorism cooperation with Afghanistan in due course.

The international community, as well as the relevant Afghan parties, were asked to address the root causes of forced displacement in Afghanistan to avoid any destabilising activity that would deteriorate the situation and cooperate for a permanent solution for the protracted situation of Afghan refugees.

The international community and donor countries were asked to provide continued, adequate and proportionate financial support to the host countries of Afghan refugees, especially Iran and Pakistan and other neighbouring countries of Afghanistan.

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