NATO foreign ministers call on Taliban to facilitate safe passage through Kabul airport

NATO foreign ministers on Friday called on the Taliban to facilitate the safe passage through Kabul airport.

“Our immediate task is now to meet our commitments to continue the safe evacuation of our citizens, partner country nationals, and at-risk Afghans, in particular those who have assisted our efforts,” the ministers wrote in a joint statement. “We call on those in positions of authority in Afghanistan to respect and facilitate their safe and orderly departure, including through Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. As long as evacuation operations continue, we will maintain our close operational coordination through Allied military means at Hamid Karzai International Airport.”

The following is the text of a Joint Statement by The NATO Foreign Ministers on Afghanistan.

Begin text:

1. We, the Foreign Ministers of NATO, met today to discuss the difficult situation in Afghanistan.

2. We are united in our deep concern about the grave events in Afghanistan and call for an immediate end to the violence. We also express deep concerns about reports of serious human rights violations and abuses across Afghanistan. We affirm our commitment to the statement by the UN Security Council on August 16, and we call for adherence to international norms and standards on human rights and international humanitarian law in all circumstances.

3. Our immediate task is now to meet our commitments to continue the safe evacuation of our citizens, partner country nationals, and at-risk Afghans, in particular those who have assisted our efforts. We call on those in positions of authority in Afghanistan to respect and facilitate their safe and orderly departure, including through Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. As long as evacuation operations continue, we will maintain our close operational coordination through Allied military means at Hamid Karzai International Airport.

4. The Afghan people deserve to live in safety, security and dignity, and to build on the important political, economic and social achievements they have made over the last twenty years. We stand by civil society actors who must be able to continue to safely play their meaningful role in Afghan society. We call on all parties in Afghanistan to work in good faith to establish an inclusive and representative government, including with the meaningful participation of women and minority groups. Under the current circumstances, NATO has suspended all support to the Afghan authorities. Any future Afghan government must adhere to Afghanistan’s international obligations; safeguard the human rights of all Afghans, particularly women, children, and minorities; uphold the rule of law; allow unhindered humanitarian access; and ensure that Afghanistan never again serves as a safe haven for terrorists.

5. For the last twenty years, we have successfully denied terrorists a safe haven in Afghanistan from which to instigate attacks. We will not allow any terrorists to threaten us. We will remain committed to fighting terrorism with determination, resolve, and in solidarity.

6. We honour the service and sacrifice of all who have worked tirelessly over the last twenty years to realise a better future for Afghanistan. Together, we will fully reflect our engagement in Afghanistan and draw the necessary lessons. We will continue to promote the stable, prosperous Afghanistan that the Afghan people deserve and address the critical questions facing Afghanistan and the region, in the immediate future and beyond, including through our cooperation with regional and international partners, such as the European Union and United Nations.

End text.

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