France, Britain to propose Kabul “safe zone”

August 29, 2021 - 18:55

At an emergency, United Nations Security Council meeting set for Monday, France, and Britain will submit a resolution on Afghanistan proposing a safe zone in Kabul to try and protect people trying to leave the country.

Speaking to French media, French President Emmanuel Macron says "our resolution proposal aims to define a safe zone in Kabul, under UN control, which would allow humanitarian operations to continue." 
Earlier, Macron said that Paris was holding preliminary discussions with the Taliban about the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and the possible evacuation of more people from the country.

It is unclear how the Taliban, which is preparing a new cabinet as the American-led military evacuation nears its end, would react to the joint French, British proposal. 

U.S. military forces, which have guarded the airport in Kabul, are due to withdraw by a Tuesday deadline set by President Joe Biden. France is among the countries that have also ended evacuations from Kabul airport. Meanwhile, Britain has confirmed its final flight carrying military personnel out of Afghanistan has left Kabul airport, the country's Defense Ministry said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is convening a meeting on Afghanistan with the UN envoys for Britain, France, the United States, China, and Russia; the Security Council's permanent, veto-wielding members.

Meanwhile, the Taliban’s main spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, has condemned an overnight U.S. drone strike against alleged Daesh terrorists following Thursday's attack near the airport as a "clear attack on Afghan territory".

The Pentagon claims the airstrikes killed two high-profile Daesh targets and left another wounded.

American President, Joe Biden, has warned that another terror attack at Kabul airport is "highly likely” in the next day or two while at the same time vowing further U.S. airstrikes against alleged Daesh targets.

The swift airstrikes by the Pentagon on what it calls “Daesh targets” has led observers to question whether Washington had prior knowledge of Daesh leaders and facilities’ whereabouts and why the U.S. did carry out the airstrikes before the deadly terror attack at Kabul airport. 

Elsewhere, UN officials have warned that Afghanistan faces a humanitarian catastrophe, with large parts of the country suffering from extreme drought conditions. The economy, shattered after decades of war, also faces a financial crisis. 

However, Mujahid insists the economy will improve once the new government takes office. He said "the fall of Afghani against foreign currency is temporary and it is because of the situation that suddenly changed, it will come back to normal once the government system starts functioning"

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