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Macron’s ‘safe zone’ not part of UN Resolution on Afghanistan

The resolution comes as international efforts to airlift foreign nationals and vulnerable Afghans out of the country come to an end.

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The UN Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution Monday requiring the Taliban to honour their commitment to let people freely leave Afghanistan, but the measure won’t cite a “safe zone” mentioned by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The resolution — drafted by the United States, Britain and France, and seen by AFP — says the council expects the Taliban to allow a “safe, secure, and orderly departure from Afghanistan of Afghans and all foreign nationals.”
It refers to an August 27 statement by the Taliban in which the hardline Islamists said Afghans would be able to travel abroad, and leave Afghanistan any time they want to, including by any border crossing, both air and ground.The Security Council “expects that the Taliban will adhere to these and all other commitments,” the resolution says.

 

Read More: EU must support Afghanistan’s neighbours, say Borrell

Macron had raised hopes of more concrete proposals in comments published in the weekly Journal du Dimanche over the weekend.

He said Paris and London would present a draft resolution which “aims to define, under UN control, a ‘safe zone’ in Kabul, that will allow humanitarian operations to continue,” Macron said.

“I am very hopeful that it will be successful. I don’t see who could be against making humanitarian projects secure,” he said.

But the UN resolution, expected to be supported by China and Russia, is far less ambitious.

“This resolution is not an operational aspect. It’s much more on principles, key political messages and warnings,” a UN diplomat told reporters.

The Council is expected to vote at 3:00 pm (1900 GMT).

The resolution comes as international efforts to airlift foreign nationals and vulnerable Afghans out of the country come to an end.

France ended its evacuation efforts on Friday and the United Kingdom followed suit on Saturday.

US troops have been scrambling in dangerous and chaotic conditions to complete a massive evacuation operation from the Kabul airport by a Tuesday deadline.

Read More: Conditional recognition or none at all : Macron talks with Taliban

Courtesy: AFP