The troika meeting of the special Afghan representatives of the US, China, Pakistan and Russia in Islamabad discussed the situation in Afghanistan and said it expected the Taliban to honor their commitments
According to the joint statement, the expanded troika also met senior Taliban representatives on the fringes of the meeting. Details were not shared, however. AFP file
Islamabad: Senior officials from the US, China, Russia and Pakistan on Thursday called on the Taliban to cut ties with all international terrorist groups and to deny space to militant organizations operating in the country as they take steps to create a ” inclusive and representative” government in Kabul.
The expanded Troika meeting of the special Afghan representatives of the four nations in Islamabad discussed the latest situation in Afghanistan and said it expected the Taliban to honor their commitment to prevent terrorists from using Afghan territory against their neighbors and the rest of the world .
According to the joint statement issued at the end of the one-day parleys, the four nations have “expressed deep concern about the dire humanitarian and economic situation in Afghanistan and reiterated unwavering support for the people of Afghanistan.”
The expanded Troika, also known as ‘Troika Plus’, welcomed the world’s urgent provision of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and “expressed its grave concern about the potential for economic collapse and a significant worsening of the humanitarian crisis and a new wave of refugees. “
Members of the enlarged troika acknowledged their concerns about Afghanistan’s serious liquidity problems and pledged to continue to focus on measures to facilitate access to legitimate banking services.
The group also agreed to continue practical cooperation with the Taliban to encourage the implementation of moderate and prudent policies that can contribute to a stable and prosperous Afghanistan.
The group also called on the Taliban to work with other Afghans to take steps to form an inclusive and representative government that respects the rights of all Afghans and provides equal rights for women and girls to participate in all aspects of Afghan society.
They condemned in the strongest terms the recent terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and asked the Taliban to “sever ties with all international terrorist groups, to decisively dismantle and eliminate them, and to deactivate any terrorist organization operating in the country.” to deny space”.
China is concerned about the regrouping of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, the Uyghur Muslim militant group, in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province, which borders the volatile province of Xinjiang, along with militants from Al-Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who is waging an insurgency against Pakistan, especially in the lawless tribal areas.
The Troika Plus said it expects the Taliban to fulfill its promise to prevent terrorists from using Afghan territory against its neighbors and the rest of the world.
They asked the Taliban to take a friendly approach to neighboring countries and to fulfill their legal obligations, including universally accepted principles of international law and fundamental human rights, and to protect the security and legitimate rights of foreign nationals and institutions in Afghanistan.
The Troika Plus stressed that access to education for women and girls at all levels is an international obligation and encouraged the Taliban to step up efforts to provide full and equal access to education across the country.
They called on the Taliban to ensure unimpeded humanitarian access, including female aid workers, for the delivery of humanitarian aid.
They recalled the relevant Afghan-related UN Security Council resolutions, including respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, which is free from terrorism and drug-related crime, and contributes to regional stability and connectivity.
They welcomed the increased role of the United Nations as a coordinator in areas such as contributing to stability and delivering relief, and urged the world body and its specialized agencies to develop programs to address the international community’s commitments to the people of to support Afghanistan.
The Troika also welcomed the Taliban’s continued commitment to allow safe passage for anyone wishing to travel to and from Afghanistan, and encouraged rapid progress in making arrangements to establish airports across the country that can accept commercial air traffic. to enable an uninterrupted flow of humanitarian aid.
The group also called on the international community to take concrete actions to provide aid to Afghanistan against COVID-19 .
According to the joint statement, the expanded troika also met senior Taliban representatives on the fringes of the meeting. Details were not shared, however. It was also not clear whether the group met acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Muttaqi, who is with a delegation in Islamabad on their maiden trip.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in his inaugural address to the expanded Troika, urged the international community to immediately help Afghanistan avert an impending human catastrophe due to a lack of financial resources.
“Afghanistan is on the brink of catastrophe… It can’t even afford salaries,” Qureshi said, begging for international aid.
He said ordinary people were facing famine-like situations that hit the government hard. So it is vital that the international community provides emergency assistance, he said.
He also called for an asset freeze on Afghanistan as it will help kick-start economic activities and help the Afghan government.
The US froze more than $9 billion in Afghan central bank assets after Taliban insurgents seized power in the war-torn country in August.
Qureshi also said the Taliban were interested in communicating with the world so that their government is recognized.
He warned the world not to repeat the mistakes of the past when Afghanistan’s isolation caused multiple problems.
He hoped the Troika Plus would be useful to the Afghan interim government and play a role in eliminating terrorists from Afghan soil.
The Troika Plus meeting took place after a three-month hiatus and consensus was expected to emerge on how to deal with the Taliban government.
Pakistan has tried to convince the world to deal diplomatically with the Taliban after they took control of Kabul on August 15. However, the international community is still skeptical of the hardline Islamists, especially on issues such as terrorism emanating from the war-torn country and their promises to respect human rights.