Joint Statement of Diplomatic Missions to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan – July 18, 2021

The diplomatic missions to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan of Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the EU Delegation, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, the Office of the NATO Senior Civilian Representative, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States call for an urgent end to the Taliban’s ongoing military offensive, which thwarts efforts to arrive at a negotiated solution to the conflict and harms and displaces the civilian population. We condemn the continued targeted killings taking place throughout Afghanistan, the destruction of vital infrastructure, and threats, declarations, and other actions against the gains Afghans have made over the last twenty years, gains which we have strongly supported.

The Taliban’s offensive is in direct contradiction to their claim to support a negotiated settlement of the conflict and to the Doha peace process. It has resulted in loss of innocent Afghan lives, including through continued targeted killings, displacement of the civilian population, looting and burning of buildings, destruction of vital infrastructure, and damage to communication networks. The indiscriminate detaining and killing of civilians and assaults of prisons demonstrates an extremely concerning disregard for the rule of law.  In districts occupied by the Taliban, inhabitants and observers also credibly report attempts to repress the human rights of women and girls and to shut down private and public media organizations in an attempt to conceal their human rights abuses and diminish freedom of expression.

On behalf of our respective missions, we vehemently condemn these and any other actions that violate the human rights of Afghan citizens.  Afghans have made numerous gains over the past twenty years and want to continue building on their achievements in development, human rights, and free speech.  We want to underscore that progress made over the past years can only be sustained if all parties work together.

We join the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan in calling on the Taliban and all parties to immediately end the violence, agree to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire, and engage fully in peace negotiations to end the suffering of the Afghan people and pave the way to an inclusive political settlement that benefits all Afghans and ensures that Afghanistan does not again serve as a safe haven for terrorists.

This Eid ul Adha, the Taliban should lay down their weapons for good and show the world their commitment to the peace process.