Diplomacy

UN Security Council meets with Afghan leaders in Kabul

AFP

Representatives of the United Nations Security Council, including US ambassador Nikki Haley, held talks with Afghanistan's top leaders during a three-day visit to the war-torn country that ended January 15, 2018. [UNAMA/AFP]

KABUL -- Representatives of the UN Security Council held talks with Afghanistan's top leaders during a three-day visit to the war-torn country that ended Monday (January 15).

It was the first visit by the full council since 2010. There have been a series of recent high-profile visits to Afghanistan, including by US Vice President Mike Pence last month.

The talks focused on political, security, socio-economic and human rights issues in Afghanistan, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement after the delegation returned to New York.

"Council members aimed to get a first-hand account of progress made by the Afghan National Unity Government, with the assistance of the international community, in addressing a wide range of interconnected challenges and to learn how the Security Council could further assist efforts on the ground," UNAMA said.

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UN Security Council representatives pose for a picture in Kabul on January 15, 2018, after a three-day visit to Afghanistan. [Afghanistan Presidential Palace]

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Representatives from the UN Security Council meet with Afghan leaders on January 15, 2018, in Kabul. [Afghanistan Presidential Palace]

Among other things "all parties reiterated the need for greater international and regional security co-operation".

A 'productive' visit

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani described the talks as "productive" in a statement from his office.

"Regional co-operation was discussed in the meeting and it was noted that pressure be exerted on Pakistan for the purpose of bringing stability in Afghanistan," the statement said.

Pakistan has been accused of supporting various militant groups, including the Taliban, and providing them with safe havens -- charges Islamabad denies.

The Security Council also urged Afghanistan to ensure parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for this year and next were "timely" and "credible".

Afghans are due to vote in parliamentary elections -- already more than two years late -- in July.

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These representatives should not only say enough to exchange opinions, but also they should take practical steps against Pakistan. They should impose sanctions on it [Pakistan] for keeping and rearing terrorists. Pakistan is like a cancer for the region and for the world, which on one side defame Islam by its hypocritical works, and on the other side, it has caused severe problems for the world due to exporting terrorism.

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