Taliban welcome extension of UN mission in Afghanistan

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Russian Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia said he was compelled to abstain because attempts to secure consent from the host country for a UN presence were ignored…reports Asian Lite News

The Taliban-led government in Afghanistan on Saturday welcomed the extension of UN mission in the war-torn nation for another year.

“The extension of the UN mission in Afghanistan is in Afghanistan’s interest, which we welcome,” Xinhua news agency quoted Zabihullah Mujahid, the chief government spokesperson, as saying in a statement.

On Thursday, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution to extend the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) till March 17, 2023.

“We hope that through UN, the international community will strengthen and formalize relations with the Islamic Emirate, as well as support and assist the people of Afghanistan in the humanitarian, medical and construction sectors,” Mujahid said.

Since the Taliban takeover in August last year, the economic situation has worsened in the country with a higher unemployment rate and rising poverty, while sporadic attacks also continue.

Pakistan on Taliban recognition

Pakistan will recognise the Taliban regime in Afghanistan when there is a consensus, particularly of regional countries, on the issue, Dawn news quoted Munir Akram, Islamabads UN envoy, as saying.

The question of recognition resurfaced on Thursday when the UN Security Council voted to establish formal ties with the Taliban-led Afghan government without extending diplomatic recognition to the regime.

Fourteen of the Council’s 15 members voted for the resolution, while Russia abstained.

Russian Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia said he was compelled to abstain because attempts to secure consent from the host country for a UN presence were ignored.

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun said that since August 2021 when the Taliban captured Kabul, Afghanistan had entered a new phase and more flexibility was needed to deal with the situation.

Although Pakistan was the first nation to call for more flexibility in dealing with Kabul’s new rulers, Islamabad too has not recognised the Taliban regime, Dawn reported.

Asked if the UN vote would influence Pakistan’s position on this issue, Ambassador Akram said: “We will do it (recognition) when there’s a consensus, especially among regional countries.”

Six of Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours are meeting in China next month and this would be one of the top issues on their agenda.

China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will attend the meeting.

A Taliban delegation will also participate.

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