Joint statement stresses that Taliban must uphold all international obligations, including human rights and formation of inclusive government
The Taliban government in Afghanistan was on Thursday told to fulfill its commitment to prevent the use of Afghan soil by terrorists as well as ensure fundamental rights, including women’s right to education and the formation of an inclusive government representing all the country’s ethnic groups.
The ninth meeting of Troika Plus states—Pakistan, China, Russia, the U.S.—was hosted by Islamabad. The states discussed the latest situation in Afghanistan, read a statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office, adding that senior Taliban representatives had been met on the sidelines of the conference by members of all four states. Interim Afghanistan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi was specially invited by Pakistan to attend the meeting.
The joint statement said that the Troika Plus had reiterated its support for the people of Afghanistan and expressed concern over the state’s humanitarian and economic situation. Addressed to the Taliban, it reaffirmed the expectation that the Taliban would not allow Afghan soil to be used by terrorists against any other state. It also urged the new Afghan rulers to adopt “friendly” ties with all their neighbors and uphold the country’s international legal obligations, including “universally accepted principles of international law and fundamental human rights and to protect the safety and legitimate rights of foreign nationals and institutions in Afghanistan.”
Noting humanitarian groups’ concerns about Afghanistan’s liquidity challenges, it committed to working on measures to ease access to legitimate banking services. Troika Plus member Washington has frozen billions of dollars of the Afghan government that are parked in American banks and has yet to confirm when the Taliban would have access to them.
Welcoming the Taliban’s continued commitment to allow the safe passage of anyone who wished to travel to-and-from Afghanistan, the Troika Plus praised arrangements to establish airports nationwide that could accept commercial air traffic, noting this was essential to enable the uninterrupted flow of humanitarian assistance. Urging the Taliban to form an inclusive and representative government that respects the rights of all Afghans and provides for the equal rights of women and girls to participate in all aspects of Afghan society, it emphasized that access to education for girls and women—at all levels—was an international obligation.
Agreeing to continue practical engagement with the Taliban to encourage the implementation of moderate and prudent policies that can help achieve a stable and prosperous Afghanistan as soon as possible, the Troika Plus members welcomed the international community’s urgent provision of humanitarian assistance and “expressed grave concern at the potential for an economic collapse and significantly worsening humanitarian crisis and a new refugee wave.”
Calling on the Taliban to ensure unhindered humanitarian access, including by women aid workers, for the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, it welcomed the role of the U.N. as a coordinator for delivering emergency assistance. In this regard, it urged the U.N. and its specialized agencies to develop programs to implement the international community’s commitments to support the people of Afghanistan. It urged the global community to take concrete actions to help Afghanistan cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Troika Plus states also condemned “in the strongest terms” recent terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and called on the Taliban to cut ties with all international terrorist groups, dismantle and eliminate them in a decisive manner, and to deny space to any terrorist organization operating inside the country.
The Troika Plus on Afghanistan was attended by Pakistan’s special representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq; U.S. State Department’s special representative and deputy assistant secretary for Afghanistan Thomas West; Russia’s special envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov; and Chinese special envoy for Afghanistan, Yue Xiaoyong.