EU says will cooperate with future Afghan govt if rights are respected

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Brussels [Belgium], August 18 (ANI): The European Union will cooperate with any future Afghan government only if it respects the fundamental rights of all Afghans and prevents the use of Afghanistan's territory by "terrorist organisations", said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

The statement was issued by Josep Borrell on the behalf of the bloc following an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers on Tuesday to discuss the Taliban takeover of the Afghan capital, Kabul.

The EU expressed "deep concerns" about reports of serious human rights violations and abuses in areas across Afghanistan.

Taliban on Sunday took control of Kabul and installed themselves in the presidential palace in Kabul.

President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as the terrorists entered the city on Sunday.

Panic gripped the Afghan capital as people fear about a return to the Taliban's brutal rule and the threat of reprisal killings.

Borell noted that "wellbeing and security of its citizens, political and human rights achievements, as well as regional and international security, are at stake".

The EU calls on all parties in Afghanistan to respect all commitments made and to pursue further an inclusive, comprehensive and enduring political solution.

"The EU stresses the utmost importance of the safety and security of all EU citizens in Afghanistan, as well as local staff working for the EU or member states," the statement read.

The bloc called for an immediate cessation of all violence, the restoration of security and civil order and the protection and respect for civilian life, dignity and property throughout Afghanistan.

The EU aims to continue its support to the Afghan people and to democracy, good governance, human rights and social and economic development in the country, including efforts to prevent and manage the risks associated with an unstable Afghanistan in continued conflict, resulting in regional instability, drugs trafficking and uncontrolled irregular migration.

"In this context, EU engagement with its partners in Central Asia will be increasingly important. Combatting terrorism and preventing the use of Afghan territory by international terrorist groups remains at the core of the EU's collective engagement in the country," the statement read.

"However, cooperation with any future Afghan government will be conditioned on a peaceful and inclusive settlement and respect for the fundamental rights of all Afghans, including women, youth and persons belonging to minorities, as well as respect for Afghanistan's international obligations, commitment to the fight against corruption and preventing the use of Afghanistan's territory by terrorist organisations," it added.

To address the worsening humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the European Union said it will continue to provide needs-based assistance to the Afghan people and calls on all actors to allow safe and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to Afghan women, men and children in need, including to a large number of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The EU calls on the Taliban to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law in all circumstances. The EU will also support Afghanistan's neighbours in coping with negative spillovers, which are to be expected from an increasing flow of refugees and migrants. (ANI)

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