UK pushes for safe passage of Afghans as US leaves

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Ending their20-year presence, the United States forces pulled out from Afghanistan on Monday, leaving the Taliban in control of the country, reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday said the international community will “push as one voice” for the safe passage of Afghans who want to leave.

Johnson’s comments came after the UN Security Council urged the Taliban to allow people to leave the country, the BBC reported.

Ending their20-year presence, the United States forces pulled out from Afghanistan on Monday, leaving the Taliban in control of the country. The British troops also left over the weekend.

In a draft resolution adopted on Monday evening, the UN Security Council also urged the Taliban not to allow Afghanistan to become a base for terrorism.

And it called on all parties to allow “full, safe and unhindered access” for the UN and charities to deliver humanitarian aid.

The resolution, drafted by the UK and France, was passed with 13 votes in favour and two abstentions, from China and Russia.

Prime Minister Johnson said the passing of the resolution “makes clear that the international community stands with Afghans”.

“There can be no return to repression or terror. We will push as one voice for safe passage, humanitarian access and respect for human rights,” he wrote on Twitter.

But Dame Barbara Woodward, the UK’s ambassador to the UN, said the militants would be judged “on the basis of their actions on the ground, not their words”.

She said the immediate priority is ensuring that all those who wish to leave Afghanistan can do so safely. “We have been clear that the Taliban must adhere to their own stated commitments to ensure safe passage, beyond 31 August,” she said.

She also said that the humanitarian situation in the war-torn country requires urgent attention.

“We are coordinating closely with partners to strengthen efforts to support humanitarian assistance and ensure unimpeded access for humanitarian workers and organisations,” the ambassador added.

“The gains of the last 20 years must be protected, and human rights, including those of women and children and minorities, safeguarded. This resolution lays down a marker that the international community will be watching closely.”

Taliban celebrate US withdrawal

Taliban on Tuesday fired their guns in the air in celebration as the United States completed the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan, after 20 years of military presence.

“Parts of Kabul erupted in celebratory gunfire after the last US C-17 aircraft lifted off from Hamid Karzai International Airport right before midnight shortly after the last aircraft departed,” CNN reported.

General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of the US Central Command, made the withdrawal announcement at a Pentagon news briefing.

“I announce the completion of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and the end of the military mission to evacuate American citizens and Afghans… The last C-17 lifted off from Hamid Karzai Airport on August 30 this afternoon at 3:29 pm (local time), he said.

Following US troops withdrawal, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has also said the last American soldier left Kabul airport at 9 pm Afghan time.

“The last American soldier left Kabul airport at 9 pm Afghan time and our country gained full independence, Alhamdulillah Walmana,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden will address the American people on US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan on Tuesday.

“Tomorrow afternoon, I will address the American people on my decision not to extend our presence in Afghanistan beyond August 31,” Biden said. (ANI)

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