At the initiative of the German Foreign Ministry the Special Representatives and Special Envoys of the United States of America, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, NATO, Norway, and the United Kingdom met virtually on 17 August 2021 to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.
Conscious of this highly sensitive and vulnerable phase of transition participants exchanged views on the current situation in Afghanistan and discussed ways to support the desire of the Afghan people for lasting peace. To that end,
- Participants reaffirmed continued commitment to supporting the Afghan people during this phase of political transition. Participants highlighted the shared responsibility and interest of Afghan representatives in the wellbeing of the Afghan people. Participants encouraged leaders of Afghan political groups to engage in sincere discussions and seek necessary compromises.
- Participants called for an immediate cessation of all violence and intimidation, the restoration of security and civil order and the protection of and respect for civilian life, dignity and property throughout Afghanistan. In this regard participants expressed deep concern about reports of serious human rights abuses in areas across Afghanistan in recent days.
- Participants urged the Taliban to live up to their repeated commitments concerning (a) inclusive governance; (b) respect for human rights, including the rights of women and minorities; (c) a mechanism to deliver a representative government, (d) not to allow any individuals or groups to use the Afghan soil to threaten the security of other countries; and, (e) respect for international law, including international humanitarian law. Participants furthermore welcomed the commitments made by the Taliban at yesterday´s press conference in Kabul regarding freedom of press and commercial business.
- Participants emphasized that international assistance to any future Government of Afghanistan is dependent on good governance and a commitment to a constitutional order; the rule of law, human rights, including preservation of the gains made by women and girls over the past two decades; Afghanistan´s international obligations; the fight against corruption; and the prevention of any international terrorist group or individuals from using Afghan soil to threaten the security of other countries.
- Participants called on all parties to respect and facilitate the safe and orderly departure of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the country. Those in positions of authority across Afghanistan bear responsibility - and accountability - for the protection of human life and property, and for the immediate restoration and preservation of security and civil order.