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PublishDate: Saturday, September 18, 2021 15:08

Regional powers urge US to engage with Islamic Emirate

Russia, China, Pakistan and other regional states called on the United States on Friday to engage with the Islamic Emirate and fund aid to Afghanistan, though they also urged the Afghan government to yield power to a more inclusive government.

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_The fate of Afghanistan dominated a summit of the Organisation, formed 20 years ago by Russia, China and ex-Soviet central Asian states. It has since expanded into a bloc with wider regional ambitions. India and Pakistan joined in 2017, and Iran joined on Friday.

Leaders of the group said it was the responsibility of the West in general and the United States in particular to help avert a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan, where Western aid propped up the former Ashraf government, Reuters reported.

“The main part of the expenses related to Afghanistan’s post-conflict rebuilding should be borne by the United States and NATO countries who are directly responsible for the grave consequences of their prolonged presence in the country,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Putin also called on Washington to unfreeze assets of the Afghan central bank, which have been blocked since the Islamic Emirate takeover, saying without access to the funds, Afghanistan’s new rulers would be tempted to turn to the drugs and arms trades.

China’s President , without mentioning the United States by name, said “certain countries” should assume their due responsibilities for Afghanistan’s future development, having been “instigators” of the situation.

Imran Khan, the prime minister of Pakistan which has the closest ties to the Islamic Emirate of any neighbour, said the priority was to “prevent a humanitarian crisis and an economic meltdown. We must remember that the previous government depended heavily on foreign aid and its removal could lead to economic collapse.”

Pakistan’s also said the Islamic Emirate should create an “” representing all ethnic groups, and prevent Afghan soil from being used for international militancy.

Putin noted that the new government was only provisional. “One cannot call it representative or inclusive, as we do not see representatives of other ethnic groups there. But we believe we need to work with it.”


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