UNSC adopts strong resolution on Afghanistan; China, Russia abstain

UNSC adopts strong resolution on Afghanistan; China, Russia abstain

United Nations: The UN Security Council, under India's Presidency, adopted a strong resolution demanding that territory of Afghanistan not be used to threaten any country or shelter terrorists and that it expects the Taliban will adhere to commitments made by it on regarding the safe and orderly departure from the country of Afghans and all foreign nationals.

The Security Council on Monday adopted the resolution sponsored by France, UK and the US with 13 members voting in favour, none against and permanent, veto-wielding members Russia and China abstaining.

This was the first resolution adopted by the powerful 15-nation Council on the situation in Afghanistan following the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban and came on the penultimate day of India's Presidency of the Security Council for the month of August.

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and national unity of Afghanistan, the resolution "condemns in the strongest terms the deplorable attacks" of August 26 near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul for which the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, an entity affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da'esh) claimed responsibility and which resulted in deaths and injuries of over 300 civilians and 28 military personnel.

The UNSC resolution took note of the Taliban's condemnation of the attack.

The resolution demands that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist acts, and reiterates the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, including those individuals and entities designated pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), and notes the Taliban's relevant commitments.

The resolution notes the Taliban statement of August 27, 2021, in which the Taliban committed that Afghans will be able to travel abroad, may leave Afghanistan anytime they want to, and may exit Afghanistan via any border crossing, both air and ground, including at the reopened and secured Kabul airport, with no one preventing them from travelling, expects that the Taliban will adhere to these and all other commitments, including regarding the safe, secure, and orderly departure from Afghanistan of Afghans and all foreign nationals.

The Council, through the resolution, also took note of the "dangerous security situation" around the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul and "expresses concern that intelligence indicates further terrorist attacks may take place in the area, calls on the relevant parties to work with international partners to take steps to strengthen security and to prevent further casualties, and requests that every effort be made to allow for the rapid and secure reopening of the Kabul airport and its surrounding area."

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield in her explanation of the vote said through the resolution we have spoken once again on the urgent need to tackle the serious threat of terrorism in Afghanistan. Last week's horrific attack in Kabul demonstrated the very real threat that terrorist groups like ISIS-K pose. President Joe Biden has made clear that America will do what's necessary to defend our security and our people.

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