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We Must All Ensure Afghanistan Cannot Ever, Ever Again Be a Base for Terrorism: US in UNSC

A Taliban fighter sits on the back of a vehicle with a machine gun in front of the main gate leading to the Afghan presidential palace, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. (AP)

A Taliban fighter sits on the back of a vehicle with a machine gun in front of the main gate leading to the Afghan presidential palace, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. (AP)

The Taliban swept into Kabul on Sunday after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, bringing an end to a twodecade campaign in which the US and its allies had tried to transform Afghanistan.

The US told the UN Security Council that the international community should ensure that Afghanistan “cannot ever, ever again be a base for terrorism and urged the country’s neighbours and others in the region and beyond to give refuge to Afghans attempting to flee. The Taliban swept into Kabul on Sunday after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, bringing an end to a two-decade campaign in which the US and its allies had tried to transform Afghanistan.

The country’s Western-trained security forces collapsed or fled, ahead of the planned withdrawal of the last American troops at the end of the month. Today I want to reiterate reemphasise and reassert this call, civilian populations including journalists and non-combatants, must be protected. Attacks against civilians or civilian objects must stop and the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghan citizens, especially women, girls and members of minority groups must be respected, US Ambassador to the UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan, held on Monday under India’s current Presidency of the 15-nation body.

She said, We also call on all parties to prevent terrorism and we must all ensure Afghanistan cannot ever, ever again be a base for terrorism. The US envoy said that over this past weekend, members of the international community joined together to state unequivocally that every Afghan should be able to live in safety, security and dignity.

We also called on all parties in Afghanistan to ensure safe departures and the protection of human life and property. We also call on the Taliban to permit humanitarian organisations to continue their valuable work in Afghanistan, she said.She asserted that humanitarian personnel and agencies must have safe, unhindered access to provide life saving assistance to the increasing numbers of Afghans in need.

We are deeply concerned that right now aid is not flowing to people in crisis, she said. The US envoy emphasised that critically all Afghan nationals and international citizens who wish to depart must be allowed to do so safely.

President Biden has made clear that any action that puts US personnel or our mission at risk will be met with a swift and strong military response. The United States promises to be generous in resettling Afghans in our own country, and I’m heartened by the pledges we’ve seen from other nations to do the same. We need to all do more and the time to step up is now. We urge Afghanistan’s neighbours and others in the region and beyond to give refuge to, be temporary or permanent, to Afghans attempting to flee. And together we must do everything we can to help Afghans who wish to leave and seek refuge.

The Afghan people deserve to live in safety, security and dignity. We in the international community stand ready to assist them.

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first published:August 17, 2021, 00:07 IST