G-7 calls on Taliban to ensure safety of civilians

Aug 20, 2021 – 17:47 | KYODO NEWS

TOKYO – Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven industrialized nations on Thursday called on the Taliban to ensure the safety of civilians and guarantee safe passage for any remaining foreigners and Afghans who wish to leave the country.

The G-7 ministers affirmed their commitment to “the urgent need for the cessation of violence, respect for human rights including for women, children and minorities,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement released after the online meeting.

The ministers also pledged to work together closely in dealing with the crisis and agreed that the Taliban “must ensure that Afghanistan does not become host to a terrorist threat to international security,” according to the statement.

Following the G-7 meeting, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters, “We will closely monitor the situation in Afghanistan as we hope the country will not return to fierce Islamic rule like in the past.”

Asked if Japan will diplomatically recognize the new Afghan government led by the Taliban, which took control of the capital Kabul and many other major cities, Motegi said Tokyo will carefully assess the policy of the Islamist militant group in light of respect for human rights including the treatment of women.

The G-7 ministers shared the view that they will decide whether to recognize the Taliban administration after closely monitoring its policies with regard to respect for women’s rights, according to the U.S. State Department.

During their previous period of rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban insisted on the strict application of Islamic law and suppressed women’s rights.

The emergency meeting of the foreign ministers was apparently aimed at sharing concerns and setting an agenda among the G-7 countries to pave the way for their virtual summit meeting planned for next week, following an agreement by Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. President Joe Biden to hold such talks.

Britain holds this year’s presidency of the G-7.

Motegi participated in the online ministerial talks from Jordan as he is on a tour of the Middle East which also includes visits to Egypt, the West Bank for talks with Palestinian leaders, Israel, Turkey, Iran and Qatar.

The Japanese minister earlier in the day met with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman al Safadi and said they agreed on close cooperation between their two countries toward ensuring the latest developments in Afghanistan do not further destabilize the international community.

The G-7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States as well as the European Union.

Cr. KYODO NEWS