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In a strongly-worded resolution, UNSC asks Taliban not to use Afghanistan to train terrorists

The resolution said that it expects that the Taliban will adhere to commitments made by it regarding the safe, secure, and orderly departure from Afghanistan of Afghans and foreign nationals.

Published: 31st August 2021 07:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st August 2021 08:30 AM   |  A+A-

Afghans wait in long lines for hours to try to withdraw money, in front of Bank in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Photo | AP)

By PTI

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council, under India's Presidency, adopted a resolution demanding that the Afghanistan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter and train terrorists.

The resolution said that it expects that the Taliban will adhere to commitments made by it regarding the safe, secure, and orderly departure from Afghanistan of Afghans and foreign nationals.

The Council adopted the resolution proposed by France, the UK and the US with 13 Council members voting in favour and Russia and China abstaining.

This was the first resolution adopted by the Council on the situation in Afghanistan following the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban and came on the penultimate day of India's Presidency of the Security Council for the month of August.

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan, the resolution "condemns in the strongest terms the deplorable attacks" of August 26 near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul for which the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, an entity affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da'esh), claimed responsibility and which resulted in deaths and injuries of over 300 civilians and 28 military personnel.

The UNSC resolution took note of the Taliban's condemnation of the attack.

The resolution said it strongly "demands that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist acts, and reiterates the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, including those individuals and entities designated pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), and notes the Taliban's relevant commitments."

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It noted the Taliban statement of August 27 in which the outfit had committed that Afghans will be able to travel abroad, may leave Afghanistan anytime they want to, and may exit Afghanistan via any border crossing, both air and ground, including at the reopened and secured Kabul airport, with no one preventing them from traveling.

The resolution said it "expects that the Taliban will adhere to these and all other commitments, including regarding the safe, secure, and orderly departure from Afghanistan of Afghans and all foreign nationals."

The Council, through the resolution, also took note of the "dangerous security situation" around the Hamid Karzai International Airport and "expresses concern that intelligence indicates further terrorist attacks may take place in the area".

It called on "the relevant parties" to work with international partners to take steps to strengthen security and to prevent further casualties, and requested that every effort be made to allow for the rapid and secure reopening of the Kabul airport and its surrounding area.

The UN Security Council's resolution on Afghanistan, adopted under India's current presidency, "unequivocally" conveys that Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any nation, shelter or train terrorists, and this is of "direct importance to India," Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said, underlining that the statement sends a "strong signal" from the international community on its expectations from Kabul.

"I was in particular very happy to preside over the adoption of today's important resolution on Afghanistan, which has unequivocally conveyed that Afghanistan's territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter, train terrorists or plan or finance terrorism.

It underlines terrorist individuals and entities designated by UN Security Council (resolution) 1267.

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This is of direct importance to India," Shringla said here on Monday in his remarks to reporters at the UN Security Council stakeout, following the UNSC meeting on Afghanistan in which the resolution was adopted.

"Needless to say the adoption of the resolution is a strong signal from the Security Council and the international community on its expectations in respect of Afghanistan," said Shringla, who is in New York to Chair the UNSC meetings as India's Presidency ends on August 31.

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks before the US was set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war.

This forced Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country to the UAE.

Chaos has enveloped Kabul after the Afghanistan government collapsed, with thousands making desperate attempts to evacuate the capital.

The UNSC resolution condemned in the strongest terms the "deplorable attacks" of August 26 near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, which has been claimed by the Islamic State's Afghanistan affiliate, dubbed Islamic State Khorasan or ISIS-K.

The resolution was put forward by the US, the UK and France on Monday.

It was adopted after 13 Council members voted in favour, while permanent members Russia and China abstained from the voting.

The resolution "demands that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist acts, and reiterates the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, including those individuals and entities designated pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), and notes the Taliban's relevant commitments."

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To the press, Shringla said the resolution also notes the statement by the Taliban on August 27 "and the Security Council does expect them to adhere to their commitments, including regarding the safe, secure and orderly departure from Afghanistan of Afghans and all foreign nationals."

The resolution "notes the Taliban statement of August 27, 2021, in which the Taliban committed that Afghans will be able to travel abroad, may leave Afghanistan anytime they want to, and may exit Afghanistan via any border crossing, both air and ground, including at the reopened and secured Kabul airport, with no one preventing them from travelling, expects that the Taliban will adhere to these and all other commitments, including regarding the safe, secure, and orderly departure from Afghanistan of Afghans and all foreign nationals.

" Shringla said the resolution also recognises the importance of upholding human rights, especially of Afghan women, children and minorities as well as to inclusive negotiated settlement and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

He said these were some of the key aspects of the resolution which have been highlighted by India.

Under India's presidency this month, the Security Council adopted three press statements on Afghanistan following developments -- August 3, 16 and 27.

Shringla expressed condolences on behalf of India "to those Afghan nationals and US troops who lost their lives in the terrorist attack in Kabul.



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