‘International community has to deal with Taliban in Afghanistan’

The international community has no choice but to deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan, said Deborah Lyons, the top United Nations (UN) envoy for the war-torn country, on Wednesday.

“Let me make clear that we do not believe that we can truly assist the Afghan people without working with the de facto authorities (the Taliban),” she told the Security Council in a briefing. “This must be difficult for some to accept. But it is essential.

“There remains an enduring distrust between the Taliban and much of the international community, and even the regional countries and neighbors, said Lyons, the UN secretary-general’s special representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

The Taliban felt misunderstood and complained to us that our reports did not reflect the reality. They told me that we underappreciated their achievements and that we exaggerated the problem,” said Lyons.

Above all, the Taliban believed that they should have received greater acknowledgement for the security that prevailed in Afghanistan. In the six months since the Taliban took over in August 15, 2021, there has been a 78 percent decline in civilian casualties as a result of the reduction in conflict.

They also noted that their amnesty declaration had been honoured for the most part and that violations were not state-sanctioned and that those violators would be punished, she said.

The Taliban also highlighted progress on the economic front, including strong revenues despite decreased economic activity, reduced government corruption, and a budget that did not require donor resources. They also pointed to public universities being reopened and their desire to see Afghans, all boys and all girls, educated to a high international standard, she said.

On Tuesday, on the anniversary of the signing of the Doha Agreement between the Taliban and the United States, the Taliban reiterated their declared commitment to ensure that Afghanistan did not become a threat to any country, and their desire for good relations with all states and international organisations, she noted. -Xinhua

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