Over 60 nations urge Taliban to let foreign nationals, Afghans leave

The joint statement released by the US Department of State comes after the Taliban entered Afghanistan's capital Kabul and seized control of the presidential palace.

Washington: Over 60 countries including the US, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Canada on Sunday (local time) urged “all parties” to safeguard the departure of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the war-torn country, and said that roads, airports and border crossing must remain open.

The joint statement released by the US Department of State comes after the Taliban entered Afghanistan’s capital Kabul and seized control of the presidential palace.

“Those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan bear responsibility — and accountability — for the protection of human life and property, and for the immediate restoration of security and civil order,” read the statement released on late Sunday.

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Asserting that Afghan people deserve to live in safety, security and dignity, the statement said that the international community stand ready to assist them.

“Given the deteriorating security situation, we support, are working to secure, and call on all parties to respect and facilitate, the safe and orderly departure of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the country,” the statement added.

Joining the United States in the statement are: Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta , Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Cyprus, Romania, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Togo, Tonga, Uganda, United Kingdom, Ukraine and Yemen. Afghanistan government collapsed earlier on Sunday with President Ashraf Ghani leaving the country and the Taliban’s entry into the capital, the New York Times reported. Taliban terrorists have assumed control of the Afghan capital of Kabul and have taken control of the presidential palace.

As the Taliban claimed control over the Afghan capital, several countries evacuated diplomatic personnel from the country, and crowds of people flocked to the Kabul airport in an attempt to leave Afghanistan.

Reports suggest that the movement will soon proclaim the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

 Taliban deputy leader Mullah Baradar on Sunday said that the terror group’s victory, which saw all of the country’s major cities fall in a week, was unexpectedly swift and had no match in the world.

 In a short video message, he said the real test would begin now with meeting the expectations of the people and serving them by resolving their problems, Al Jazeera reported.

 Meanwhile, the United States has announced that it will be taking over air traffic control at Kabul airport and will expand the country’s security presence to nearly 6,000 troops to facilitate the safe departure of the American and allied personnel from Afghanistan via civilian and military flights.

In a joint statement on Sunday, the US Department of State and Department of Defence said the US will be transferring thousands of American citizens as well as locally employed staff of the US mission in Kabul and their families over the coming days.

The US has flown approximately 500 staff members from the US Embassy in Kabul out of Afghanistan today, a defence official told CNN. Approximately 4,000 US Embassy staff members are still to fly out of the country, including US citizens and Afghan nationals who work for the embassy, two defence officials said. Meanwhile, Spokesman for the Taliban’s political office, Mohammad Naeem, stated that all embassies and foreign diplomatic missions are safe in Kabul, urging “everyone” in the city to remain “in complete confidence”. “We assure all embassies, diplomatic missions, institutions, and residences of foreign nationals in Kabul that there is no danger to them. Everyone in Kabul must be in complete confidence, and the forces of the Islamic Emirate are tasked with maintaining security in Kabul and other cities in the country”, his tweet reads.

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