UK, France call for ‘safe zone’ in Kabul

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Paris and London will call for the creation of a “safe zone” in the Afghan capital of Kabul, which is expected to allow the continuation of humanitarian operations, reports Asian Lite News

French President Emmanuel Macron said that France and UK will propose for a safe zone in Kabul to protect people trying to flee Afghanistan, ahead of an emergency UN meeting.

Dialogue with the Taliban does not mean their recognition, Macron said on Sunday. “This dialogue is needed for the evacuation,” Macron said in an interview with the TF-1 television channel, reported TASS.

“The Taliban controls Kabul and the territory of Afghanistan, so we must maintain discussions. But it doesn’t mean their recognition. We have set conditions to them.” it added.

According to the French leader, these conditions concern respect to human rights and the “dignity of Afghan women.” reported TASS.

Macron said on Saturday that France had begun talks with the Taliban on the organization of humanitarian operations and the continuation of evacuation from Afghanistan.

Paris and London will call on Monday for the creation of a “safe zone” in the Afghan capital of Kabul, which is expected to allow the continuation of humanitarian operations, the French President said in an interview with Journal du Dimanche.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Monday to discuss the latest developments in Afghanistan.

According to Sputnik, Macron said that France and the UK are developing a “draft resolution” which “aims to define, under UN control, a ‘safe zone’ in Kabul to allow humanitarian operations to continue,” reported Sputnik.

The French president explained that such a “safe zone” would provide a framework for the United Nations to act in an emergency. Macron also said that France is counting on the help of Qatar in what concerns airlift operations.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

On Saturday, Macron confirmed that discussions had been launched with the Taliban on the humanitarian operations and the evacuation of vulnerable Afghans. The French leader told reporters at the Baghdad Cooperation and Partnership Conference that the mission was being worked out in cooperation with Qatar, reported Sputnik.

Meanwhile, six Afghan civilians, including four children, were killed after a rocket was fired at the Kabul airport where the US-led evacuation flights were continuing but failed to hit the target, a local source confirmed.

“The rocket struck a house in Khwaja Bughra, a populated residential area in Police District 15, killing two adults and four children,” Hajji Karim, a representative of the neighbourhood in the municipality district, told reporters at the site.
The incident occurred roughly at 4:55 p.m. local time in the area, west of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, the Xinhua news agency reported.

On Thursday, a deadly suicide bomb blast and gun firing claimed by ISIS-K, a local affiliate of the Islamic State group, killed 170 Afghans and 13 US troops at an eastern gate of the Kabul airport and injured nearly 200 others.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban officials and public health authorities have not commented on the blast so far.

The attack came after a US drone was hovering over the city, witnesses said.

Dozens of planes, including military planes, took off from the airport during the day. All US and coalition forces are expected to leave the country on August 31, a planned deadline. (ANI/IANS)

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