Thursday, September 23, 2021

'World united on pressing Taliban': Blinken as US holds talks with Pak on Afghanistan

After meeting with Pakistan, China, and Russia, important actors with Afghanistan's new authorities, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated Thursday that the world was unified in pressuring the Taliban. Blinken met with his counterpart from Pakistan, the main ally of the Taliban regime that was deposed by US troops in 2001, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Thursday. On Wednesday evening, he met with ministers from the four other veto-wielding Security Council members, including China and Russia. "I believe there is a very strong unity of approach and goal," Blinken told reporters.

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He went on to remark that the Taliban claims to be seeking legitimacy and backing from the international world. He went on to say that the acts it takes will determine its relationship with the world community. Blinken repeated US goals for the Taliban, including enabling Afghans and foreigners to leave, respecting the rights of women, children, and minorities, and not allowing extremists such as Al-Qaeda to exploit Afghanistan again.

According to the State Department, in meetings with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Blinken emphasised "the necessity of coordinating our diplomatic activity," according to the State Department. Pakistan has advocated for dialogue with the Taliban and the unfreezing of Afghan assets, but Qureshi indicated earlier this week that there was no urgency to accept a new Taliban administration, which Western countries reject.

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"We have to find a method of collaboratively cooperating to accomplish our common goal, which is peace and stability," Qureshi remarked as he began his discussion with Blinken.
China and Russia have both taken steps to interact with the Taliban, but have refrained from formal recognition due to long-standing worries about Islamic extremism. Last month, the Taliban surged across Afghanistan when President Joe Biden withdrew US forces, claiming there was no purpose in prolonging America's longest conflict for another 20 years.

from asianetnews

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