UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has spoken out in favor of talks with the radical Islamic Taliban after they came to power in Afghanistan. “We have to have a dialogue with the Taliban in which we directly affirm our principles,” said Guterres in an interview with the AFP news agency. It is about “solidarity with the Afghan people”.
In any case, an economic collapse in Afghanistan must be prevented. The population is already suffering enormously, “Millions upon millions are threatened with starvation,” warned the Portuguese.
“We want peace and stability”
He did not speak out in favor of withdrawing international sanctions against Taliban rule or releasing frozen Afghan state funds abroad. But certain “financial instruments” could help to keep the country afloat and “give the economy some air”.
“We want the country to be governed in peace and stability and that the rights of the people are respected,” Guterres said. For their part, the Taliban “want to be recognized, want sanctions to be lifted, want financial support, and that gives the international community a certain leverage”.
The UN chief is also looking at the Sahel zone with concern. “There is a real danger that terrorist groups there could feel empowered by what happened in Afghanistan.” A new, highly problematic pattern can be recognized worldwide: extremist groups “that are ready for anything” are state reluctant to fight Against armed forces. “We saw it in Mosul in Iraq, in Mali after the first advance on Bamako, we saw it in Mozambique,” said Guterres.
That is why he has been campaigning for years to set up an African anti-terrorist unit with a solid UN mandate and appropriate funding. But the USA, the United Nations’ largest donor, fear that the UN peacekeeping force stationed in Mali could lose their neutrality as a result. “This blockade must be ended. It is absolutely necessary, ”said Guterres.