64 states call for ‘safe departure’ from Afghanistan

TEHRAN, Aug. 16 (MNA) – A total of 64 countries signed a joint statement late Sunday calling for the safe and orderly departure of anyone who wants to leave Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover. 

Among the countries that signed the joint statement were Canada, France, Germany, and the UK, Anadolu Agency reported.

“Given the deteriorating security situation, we support, are working to secure, and call 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 power and authority across Afghanistan bear responsibility—and accountability—for the protection of human life and property, and for the immediate restoration of security and civil order,” said the statement.

“Afghans and international citizens who wish to depart must be allowed to do so; roads, airports, and border crossings must remain open, and calm must be maintained,” it noted.

“The Afghan people deserve to live in safety, security, and dignity. We in the international community stand ready to assist them.”

The statement comes after the Taliban made rapid military advances, taking control of the country as Afghan government forces fled or surrendered.

The Taliban took control of the presidential palace in Kabul on Sunday, according to the group’s spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid.

This came following an eventful day which saw minute-to-minute developments, including the Taliban's entering the besieged capital and the departure of embattled President Ashraf Ghani along with his close aides.

Ghani, who was dubbed “the former president” by the head of Afghanistan's National Reconciliation Council, Abdullah Abdullah, in a video message, left the country.

Defending his decision, Ghani said in a message that he had left Kabul in order to avoid bloodshed.

RHM/PR

News Code 177405

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