Washington, The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called upon American allies and partners to unite in an effort to mitigate the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and to hold the Taliban (banned in Russia) accountable on counterterrorism, spokesperson Ned Price said.

“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas co-hosted a ministerial on Afghanistan with allies and partners,” Price said in a press release. “Secretary Blinken urged unity in mitigating a potential humanitarian crisis and on holding the Taliban accountable on counterterrorism, on allowing safe passage for foreign citizens and Afghans who want to leave, and on forming an inclusive government that respects basic rights.”

The US will continue to support the human rights of the Afghan people, including women and girls, and to ensure that the country does not become a safe haven for terrorism, the release said.

Representatives of Germany, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, France, India, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Norway, Pakistan, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, the European Union, NATO, and the United Nations attended the meeting.

Conflict coupled with drought and COVID-19 has caused immense displacement, poverty, and food insecurity in Afghanistan. As a result, about 18 million people in Afghanistan are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations’ Directorate for Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization fears that the upcoming winter season will threaten hundreds of thousands of Afghans whose livelihoods depend on agriculture if urgent humanitarian assistance fails to come on time.

(EW Correspondent)