UN Must Engage With Taliban – Guterres

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Antonio Guterres
Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in an interview with Sputnik he believed the United Nations must engage with the Taliban (banned in Russia) following its takeover of Afghanistan.

“It is my belief that the UN must engage with the Taliban and the UN must play a very important role in support of the Afghan people in this difficult moment and mobilize the international community for effective humanitarian support to the Afghans. They have suffered too much,” Guterres said.

The Taliban intensified its offensive against Afghan government forces early last month and entered Kabul on August 15. On August 31, the US military left the Kabul airport, bringing an end to the nearly twenty-year American military presence in Afghanistan. On September 6, the Taliban stated that it had gained control of Panjshir, the last of 34 Afghan provinces not under their control.

The next day, the Taliban announced the composition of the interim government of Afghanistan. It is headed by Mohammad Hasan Akhund, who served as a foreign minister during the first Taliban rule. Akhund has been under UN sanctions since 2001.

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