Taliban refuse to grant extension of US evacuation deadline
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The Prime Minister made the shock statement yesterday as he hosted an emergency virtual G7 meeting. It is not known exactly how much money the Taliban will have access to if they agree to the conditions, but the International Monetary Fund froze £330 million earlier this month.
Additionally, a joint statement from G7 leaders, along with the secretary generals of the UN and Nato, promised to contribute humanitarian funds in the region if the Taliban agree to make efforts to prevent terrorism.
This means the total amount that the Taliban will have access to if they agree is in excess of hundreds of millions of pounds.
The Prime Minister said at the meeting: “Today the G7 agreed a roadmap for future engagement with the Taliban.
“If those huge funds are going to be unfrozen eventually for use by the government and people of Afghanistan, then what we’re saying is Afghanistan can’t lurch back into becoming a breeding ground of terror, Afghanistan can’t become a narco state, girls have to be educated up to the age of 18, and so on.”
He pointed out these are the values for which many had died.
He continued: “Those are important things that we value as G7, those are things that unite us in the West, those are things for which we fought for years in Afghanistan, and for which people in this country gave their lives.
“The point that was made today by G7 leaders is that we remain committed to those values and we remain committed to Afghanistan.
“But the number one condition that we are insisting upon is safe passage beyond the 31st, beyond this initial phase, for those who want to leave Afghanistan.”
The statement put out by G7 made similar requests to the Taliban – which kept women indoors and prevented them from going to school or work during the last time they were in power in the 1990s.
They said: “We call for adherence to obligations under international human rights law, including the rights of women, girls, and minority groups, and that international humanitarian law is upheld in all circumstances.”
The statement went on: “We support the UN in coordinating the immediate international humanitarian response in the region, including unfettered humanitarian access in Afghanistan, and will contribute collectively to that response.
“As we do this, we will judge the Afghan parties by their actions, not words.
“In particular, we reaffirm that the Taliban will be held accountable for their actions on preventing terrorism, on human rights in particular those of women, girls and minorities, and on pursuing an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan.
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“The legitimacy of any future government depends on the approach it now takes to uphold its international obligations and commitments to ensure a stable Afghanistan.”
Yesterday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a press conference that women must now stay at home for their own safety.
He said: “Our security forces are not trained (in) how to deal with women – how to speak to women. It’s currently for their benefit to prevent any ill-treatment.”
Last week, he said that women are a “very important part of society” and the militant group “are guaranteeing all their rights, within the limits of Islam.”
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