Crisis in Afghanistan should be settled peacefully, say BRICS leaders
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the virtual summit.
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, or the BRICS grouping, on Thursday called for the resolution of the turmoil in Afghanistan through peaceful means.
At a virtual summit chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the leaders emphasised on the need to hold dialogue to ensure peace and order in Afghanistan.
In their declaration, Modi, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa said that they were concerned about the developments in Afghanistan.
Their statement came two days after insurgent group Taliban announced a new interim government for Afghanistan.
“We call for refraining from violence and settling the situation by peaceful means,” the BRICS leaders said in the statement.
Afghanistan’s new prime minister, Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, has been named on a sanctions list of the United Nations, according to Al Jazeera.
Sarajuddin Haqqani, the chief of militant group Haqqani Network, who features in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most wanted list for terrorism, is a minister in the Taliban-led government.
The insurgent group seized control of Afghan capital Kabul on August 15.
The Taliban’s return to power triggered turmoil in Afghanistan, with thousands making desperate attempts to leave the country from the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
As the United States rushed to complete a massive evacuation effort on August 30, and withdrew its soldiers from Afghanistan, the Kabul airport came under a terror attack on August 26.
About 170 Afghans and 13 US troops were killed in the explosion. The Islamic State-Khorasan, an affiliate of terror group ISIS in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for it.
Also read: In the shifting alliances of Afghan conflict, how will the Taliban deal with other militant groups?
On Thursday, BRICS leaders condemned the attack on Kabul airport, and stressed on the need to uphold the rights of women, children and minorities in Afghanistan.
“We underscore the priority of fighting terrorism, including preventing attempts by terrorist organisations to use Afghan territory as terrorist sanctuary and to carry out attacks against other countries, as well as drug trade within Afghanistan,” the statement said.
BRICS counter terrorism action plan
Modi, in his opening remarks at the virtual summit, announced that the five-country grouping has adopted a counter-terrorism action plan.
Meanwhile, Putin said that that Afghanistan should not become a threat to its neighbours, ANI reported.
He added: “Outstanding regional conflicts have not stopped, on the contrary, they have erupted again becoming more violent. The US and its allies’ withdrawal from Afghanistan has led to a new crisis and it’s still unclear how will this affect regional and global security.”
The BRICS leaders stressed on the need to ensure “coordinated efforts to understand, identify and collaboratively respond to persistent and emerging terrorist threats”.
The five countries reaffirmed their commitment towards fighting terror funding and closely cooperating with the global watchdog Financial Action Task Force as well as “other multilateral, regional and bilateral fora”.
BRICS is an influential voice, says Modi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that BRICS had made many achievements in the last 15 years.
Modi said: “Today, we are influential voices for emerging economies of the world. This platform has proved useful in focusing on developing countries. We have to ensure that we are even productive in next 15 years.”
The prime minister added that despite the Covid-19 crisis, BRICS held more than 150 meetings and events this year.