G7 ministers 'deeply concerned' by reports of reprisals in Afghanistan

Taliban urged to ensure safe passage for those fleeing the country

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Foreign ministers of the G7 said they were “deeply concerned” by reports of “violent reprisals” in Afghanistan and urged the Taliban to abide by their commitments to protect civilians.

They called on the Taliban to guarantee safe passage for those who want to leave Afghanistan, amid reports that some Afghans had been blocked from reaching Kabul’s airport.

According to UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who chaired the virtual talks on Thursday, the G7 ministers “spoke about the gravity of the situation and the significant loss of life and internal displacement in Afghanistan over recent days.”

They also underlined their “commitment in particular to the urgent need for the cessation of violence, respect for human rights including for women, children and minorities and inclusive negotiations about the future of Afghanistan".

The G7 countries are the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. The ministers said there was need for all parties to respect international humanitarian law, "in particular in relation to humanitarian and medical personnel, interpreters and other international service providers".

“G7 ministers discussed the importance of the international community providing safe and legal resettlement routes,” Mr Raab said.

“They concurred that the Taliban must ensure that Afghanistan does not become host to a terrorist threat to international security.”

The talks between the ministers came ahead of a planned summit of G7 leaders to discuss their response to the crisis in Afghanistan and the Taliban’s rapid takeover of the country.

In Thursday's meeting, the G7 ministers said the international response required “intensive engagement on the critical questions facing Afghanistan and the region,” with Afghans affected, parties to the conflict, the UN, G20, international donors and regional players.

“G7 ministers will each engage with partners in the coming days and weeks to seek to secure an inclusive political settlement, enable life-saving humanitarian assistance and support in Afghanistan and the region, and prevent any further loss of life in Afghanistan and to the international community from terrorism,” Mr Raab said.

“The G7 ministers call on the international community to come together with a shared mission to prevent the crisis in Afghanistan escalating.”

Updated: August 19, 2021, 6:12 PM