UNSC urges Taliban to facilitate safe passage to people
The UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for Taliban to facilitate safe passage for people wanting to leave Afghanistan, allow humanitarians to access the country, and uphold human rights, including for women and children.
Thirteen of the 15 ambassadors voted in favour of the resolution, which further demanded that Afghanistan should not be used as a shelter for terrorism.
Permanent members China and Russia abstained from voting.
Airport attack condemned
Countries condemned in the strongest terms the deadly blasts at Kabul airport on Thursday, which killed more than 150 people and injured upwards of 200 more. The terrorist group Islamic State in Khorosan Province (ISKP) claimed responsibility.
The attack targeted people fleeing in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover two weeks ago, and international forces assisting the evacuations.
Thousands of Afghans have been trying to escape from the country ahead of the full withdrawal of the United States by its self-imposed Tuesday deadline.
According to UNSC, the resolution was tabled by the United States, alongside fellow permanent council members France and the United Kingdom.
“The Security Council expects Taliban to live up to its commitment to facilitate safe passage for Afghans and foreign nationals who want to leave Afghanistan, whether it’s today, tomorrow, or after August 31,” said US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
“Consistent with the right to leave any country, including one’s own, everybody must be allowed to safely leave Afghanistan, for whatever reason, whenever they want, by air or by land. This is of the utmost importance to us.”
Since July, the USA has evacuated more than 122,000 Americans, foreign nationals and at-risk Afghan citizens, she reported. Thomas-Greenfield added that the resolution also reflects the council’s “crystal clear” commitment to assisting those who remain in Afghanistan.
“It underscores that all parties need to facilitate humanitarian assistance, and that humanitarian actors be given full safe and unhindered access to continue service delivery to those in need,” she said.
Deputy Permanent Representative of France Nathalie Estival-Broadhurst, Afghanistan’s commitment to allow people to leave the country at any time to be upheld.
“We will continue to build on this to ensure the council holds the Taliban accountable on its commitments. The Taliban will be judged by the international community on the basis of their actions on the ground, not their words,” she stated.
In his address, Ambassador Geng Shuang of China stated that given the fragile situation on the ground, and the uncertainties, any council action should help ease tensions, and not intensify them.
“The recent chaos in Afghanistan is directly related to the hasty and disorderly withdrawal of foreign troops,” he said.
“We hope that relevant countries will realize the fact that withdrawal is not the end of responsibility, but the beginning of reflection and correction.”
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