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France, UK to propose safe zone for people leaving Afghanistan, submit resolution at UN meeting: Emmanuel Macron

“Our resolution proposal aims to define a safe zone in Kabul, under UN control, which would allow humanitarian operations to continue,” French President Macron said.
“I cannot see who could oppose enabling the safety of humanitarian operations,” Emmanuel Macron said. In picture - Macron during an interaction in Mosul, Iraq.(AFP)
Published on Aug 29, 2021 07:35 PM IST
Written by Srivatsan K C | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Ahead of an emergency meeting by the United Nations on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that France and Britain would propose for a safe zone in Kabul to protect people trying to flee Afghanistan.

“Our resolution proposal aims to define a safe zone in Kabul, under UN control, which would allow humanitarian operations to continue,” news agency Reuters quoted Macron as saying on Sunday. During his visit to Mosul in Iraq later in the day, Macron stressed the resolution would be passed by the two countries and expressed hope that it would be accepted by member nations favourably. “I cannot see who could oppose enabling the safety of humanitarian operations,” he further said.

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UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres is scheduled to meet the permanent representatives for the United Kingdom, the United States, France, China and Russia — the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — to discuss the worsening situation in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, earlier on Saturday, Macron had said that France had held preliminary discussions with the Taliban about the humanitarian situation. The talks also included possible evacuation of more people out of the country.

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“We have begun having discussions, which are very fragile and preliminary, with the Taliban on the issue of humanitarian operations and the ability to protect and repatriate Afghans who are at risk,” Reuters had reported on Saturday citing the French President.

France ended its evacuation operations in Afghanistan on Friday, two weeks after the Taliban seized the capital city of Kabul. The US troops are scheduled to withdraw completely from the country by August 31, a deadline that has been agreed upon by the Taliban.

Several other countries have also closed their evacuation operations as the last date nears. The UK pulled out the last of its troops from the war-torn nation early on Sunday despite a number of Afghans, eligible for repatriation, being left behind.

(With agency inputs)

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