US, EU, NATO jointly call for end to fighting in Afghanistan

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The communique also called on all parties to reduce violence and protect civilians, respecting their obligations under international humanitarian law….reports Asian Lite News

The United States, the European Union and NATO have released a joint communique outlining five key elements for the future government of Afghanistan in order to be supported by the international community.

The countries in their discussion on Afghanistan said that they are closely monitoring the situation in the country and called for a halt in the fighting stating that the conflict does not have a military solution, The Khaama Press reported citing the US-Europe Communique on Afghanistan.

Special Representatives and Special Envoys of the US, the EU, France, Germany, Italy, NATO, Norway, and the UK met in Rome on July 22 to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and the developments in peace negotiations after the fresh round of talks in Doha between Taliban and the High Peace Council for Reconciliation led by Abdullah-Abdullah.

The communique also called on all parties to reduce violence and protect civilians, respecting their obligations under international humanitarian law.

The US and EU nations called for an immediate ceasefire. They appealed to the Taliban and the Afghan government to sit down and work out a negotiated settlement.

They also urged the Taliban to reduce violence, uphold their commitments to protect Afghanistan’s infrastructure, protect civilians and cooperate on humanitarian assistance, particularly as the Afghan people suffer acutely from the effects of COVID-19 and drought, in addition to violence.

The five elements of the joint communique include inclusive governance; the right to elect political leaders; protections for human rights, including rights of women, youth, and minorities; commitments on counter-terrorism, including to ensure that Afghanistan does not again serve as a safe haven for terrorists; and adherence to international law, including international humanitarian law.

Taliban slams US airstrikes

The Taliban on Saturday slammed the US airstrikes in the Afghan provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, as a violation of the Doha agreement.

The airstrikes carried out on Thursday “would lead to consequences”, Pajhwok News quoted Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, as saying in a statement.

“American occupation forces carried out airstrikes in Kandahar and Helmand, causing casualties to civilians and some mujahideen,” the Taliban said the statement.

While denouncing the strikes as barbaric, the militant group slammed them as a clear violation of the agreement between the US and the Taliban.

“(President) Ashraf Ghani recently made an announcement that he has planned major operations in the next six months,” the statement added.

During the period, the outfit said, responsibility for all military developments would fall on the leaders of the Ghani administration, the report said.

Mujahid said the fighters would defend areas under their control.

The insurgents would not remain in a defensive posture if the government forces insisted on war, he warned.

Under the withdrawal deal between the Taliban and the administration of former US President Donald, all foreign troops were to leave Afghanistan by May 2021.

But in April, President Joe Biden said all US troops would be brought home by September 11, a decision that drew strong criticism from the Taliban. (ANI/IANS)

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