Thu, 07 Dec 2023

Moscow [Russia], September 30 (ANI): Special representatives and senior officials from India, Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan took part in the fifth meeting of the Moscow Format Consultation on Afghanistan in the Russian city of Kazan on Friday.

Taliban-appointed acting minister for Foreign Affairs in Afghanistan, representatives of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Turkey also attended the meeting.

"On September 29, Kazan hosted the fifth meeting of the Moscow format on Afghanistan with the participation of special representatives and senior officials from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

During the meeting, the participants exchanged views on the current situation in Afghanistan, with an emphasis on regional security and the country's integration into regional economic processes, Russian Foreign Ministry stated further in its release. The participants in the meeting called on the Taliban to create a "truly inclusive system of government reflecting the interests of all key ethnopolitical groups in the country and also to step up counter-terrorism and anti-drug efforts".

"The prevailing point of view was that it was crucial to immediately and unconditionally unblock the Afghan assets by Washington and its allies, who bear the main responsibility for the post-conflict reconstruction of the Afghan economy, and that any return of US and NATO military structures to the territory of Afghanistan or its neighbouring states under any pretext was unacceptable," the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.

All participants gave assurances to continue providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, according to the statement. At the end of the meeting, the participants adopted the Kazan Declaration of the Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan.

Earlier this week, as many as 11 countries put pressure on the Taliban government for violating women's rights in Afghanistan during the United Nations (UN) meeting, Afghanistan-based Khaama Press reported.

Countries including the United States, France, Britain, Japan, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Ecuador, Albania, and Malta, described the treatment of Afghan women and girls by the Taliban government as "gender-based violence", according to a joint statement.

The Women's Rights Council representative further called for global support to define "gender apartheid" in international law. The statement added that systematic violations of women's rights have taken away their freedom and forced gender segregation, constituting instances of gender-based violence, Khaama Press reported.

The 11 nations called on the Taliban to revoke all restrictive policies on women's education and work, Khaama Press reported.

Representatives from these countries and the UN called on the Taliban to recognize gender apartheid in Afghanistan officially, with women in the strife-torn country engaging in protests, including hunger strikes, to stand up for their rights. (ANI)

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