Special envoys of US, China, Russia, Pakistan meet in Islamabad, agree to continue engagement with Taliban
ISLAMABAD, Nov 12, (AA): China, Russia, the US, and Pakistan Thursday expressed deep concerns over the current humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan and reiterated their support for the people there.
In a joint statement issued after the Troika Plus group meeting in Islamabad, special representatives of the four countries called on the Taliban to work with other Afghans and form an inclusive government, and give equal rights to women and girls.
The Taliban have given some important posts to non-Pashtuns in their interim government announced in September, including the high-ranking army chief slot to Qari Fasihuddin, a Tajik.
Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi is ethnic Uzbek. Some ministers and governors were also appointed from other ethnic groups in the country.
However, the interim setup has not been recognized as an inclusive government by the international community, which wants more representation of minority communities and women.
The statement welcomed the Taliban’s continued commitment to allow a safe passage to all those who wish to travel to and from Afghanistan.
The special envoys called for rapid progress on arrangements to establish airports countrywide that can accept commercial air traffic, which is essential to enable the uninterrupted flow of humanitarian assistance.
The meeting was also attended by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
– Engagement with Taliban
The special envoys agreed to continue their engagement with the Taliban and encourage them to implement moderate policies that would help Afghanistan become a stable and prosperous country.
“(The envoys) emphasized that access to education for women and girls at all levels is an international obligation and encouraged the Taliban to accelerate efforts to provide for full and equal access to education countrywide.”
The group welcomed the international community’s urgent provision of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and expressed grave concern over a potential economic collapse, the worsening humanitarian crisis, and a new refugee wave.
The special envoys also met with the visiting acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Mutaqqi, who along with his delegation arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday.
The envoys called on the Taliban to allow and ensure humanitarian access to the UN organizations that are responding to the current crisis in the country.
The meeting also urged the UN to develop a plan for the implementation of international pledges to support the Afghan people who are currently facing a severe humanitarian crisis.
The envoys also strongly condemned the recent Daesh/ISIS terrorist attacks on mosques and urged the Taliban to cut off ties with all terrorist groups and eliminate them from their country.
“(The envoys) called on the Taliban to take a friendly approach towards neighboring countries and to uphold Afghanistan’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,” according to the statement.
The meeting also urged the international community to help Afghanistan fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Troika Plus meeting was held for the first time after the Taliban took over Kabul in August. The last meeting was held in Doha just four days before the Taliban overran Kabul on Aug. 15.
On Oct. 19, the Russian, Chinese and Pakistani special envoys for Afghanistan met in Moscow. However, their US counterpart skipped that meeting. Earlier on Sept. 22, the three special envoys also visited Kabul and met with the Taliban leaders.