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Macron says France, Britain to submit resolution to UNSC for Kabul safe zone

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
French President Emmanuel Macron visits al-Sa'ah church in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, on August 29, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

French President Emmanuel Macron says France and the United Kingdom are planning to present an emergency resolution to the United Nations Security Council for the Taliban to support a civilian-run safe zone in the Afghan capital Kabul, in a bid to protect people trying to leave the war-ravaged country.

“Our resolution proposal aims to define a safe zone in Kabul, under UN control, which would allow humanitarian operations to continue,” Macron said in an interview with French daily Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD) published on Sunday.

“What we are trying to do is to be able to organize targeted humanitarian operations for evacuations that will not take place through the military airport in Kabul,” he added.

The French leader claimed the proposed safe zone was meant to protect the threatened Afghans and evacuate them in the coming days or weeks.

“We will see if this can be done through the capital’s civilian airport or through neighboring countries,” Macron added.

The Taliban militant group captured Kabul and ousted the government of the now runaway president Ashraf Ghani on August 15 after firming up their grip almost on all parts of the country through rapid advances that faced no or little resistance from government troops.

The militants are poised to run Afghanistan again 20 years after they were removed from power by American forces following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Taliban intensified their offensive and rapidly overran major Afghan cities after the US-led foreign forces enforced what has been criticized as a hasty and ill-planned withdrawal.

Since then, Kabul’s airport has been the scene of chaos and sporadic violence, with panicked Afghan and foreign nationals desperately trying to catch evacuation flights out of the country, prompting officials there to enforce restrictions.

Separately on Sunday, Macron, who is on a visit to Mosul in Iraq, said he was hopeful the proposed resolution would be welcomed favorably.

“I cannot see who could oppose enabling the safety of humanitarian operations,” Macron told reporters.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is convening a meeting on Afghanistan with the UN envoys for Britain, France, the US, China and Russia - the UNSC's permanent and veto-wielding member states.

The French president said on Saturday that Paris was holding preliminary talks with the Taliban regarding the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and the possible evacuation of more people.

On Thursday, a suicide bombing killed scores of Afghans and 13 American troops at the airport.

The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed the attack, which was the most lethal to have hit US forces in Afghanistan in almost a decade.


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