Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Western Diplomats Seek Urgent Aid for Afghanistan

Western diplomats said on Thursday they would expand their Afghan relief operations while continuing to pressure the country’s Islamist Taliban rulers to respect human rights and allow girls to go to school. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council that Afghanistan was “hanging by a thread” and called for countries to authorise all transactions needed to carry out humanitarian aid. Some $9.5 billion in Afghan central bank reserves remains blocked abroad and international development support has dried up since the Taliban seized power in August. With millions of Afghans at risk of starvation this winter as poverty deepens, Norway hosted meetings from Jan. 23-25 between the Taliban and U.S. and European diplomats as well as with aid organisations and Afghan civil society groups. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-01-27/western-diplomats-seek-urgent-aid-for-afghanistan-assurances-on-girls-education) In a 10-point statement, the diplomats said their governments were “expanding relief operations, helping prevent the collapse of social services and supporting the revival of Afghanistan’s economy”.

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