On Friday, leaders at a meeting of Russia, China, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization emphasized the need for working with the Taliban-led Afghanistan government to prevent an approaching humanitarian crisis and an economic downfall in the war-scarred country. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Tajikistan came one month after the Islamist Taliban recaptured the power in Kabul as the U.S.-led Western forces withdrew, ending approximately two decades of contribution in the Afghan war.
Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, speaking through a video link to the security bloc, renewed his call for the insurgents to eliminate terrorism while vowing to provide additional support to the neighboring nation and requesting others to do so. In addition, the Chinese press quoted the president as urging the members to promote the peaceful transition of power in Afghanistan, guide it to develop a comprehensive political structure, adopt moderate and sensible foreign and domestic policies, definitely combat all types of terrorism live in peace with its neighbors.
China and other neighboring countries of Afghanistan have emphasized the U.S. and its allies supply Afghanistan with humanitarian and economic aid rather than abandoning it. Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, also addressed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit through a video link and underlined the need for working with the Taliban government and for world powers to consider unfreezing the assets of Afghanistan that kept in foreign banks.
The U.S. and Western Nations Pledged Humanitarian Aid
The United States and other Western nations pledged swift humanitarian aid of over $1.2 billion. However, they are waiting to observe whether the Taliban leaders will defend the human rights of minorities and women and stem terrorism before diplomatically engaging with them. Moreover, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Afghanistan would not have access to lender resources, ending development projects in the country.
Last week, the Taliban announced an all-men thirty-three-member interim cabinet, and it drew strong criticism domestically and internationally for not being an inclusive political system as the Islamist movement promised. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi told the summit that for their part, the Taliban leaders must fulfill their promises made above all ethnic groups represented. He emphasized by adding that it is vital for the stability of Afghanistan.
Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI‘s remarks at Meeting of Heads of Delegations of Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Collective Security Treaty Organization on “Outreach on Afghanistan”
— Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) September 17, 2021
Niazi said it was a matter of relief for neighboring nations, specifically that the power transition in the Afghan capital happened without significant violence, civil war, and mass migration of refugees. The Russian president also echoed Pakistan’s leader’s words during his address to the summit. However, he adds that the Taliban controls almost the whole territory of Afghanistan, and the new authorities should encourage them to deliver on their own pledges to make peace.
Moreover, the SCO comprises Pakistan, Uzbekistan, China, India, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Kazakhstan. Afghanistan is an observer state, but it wasn’t invited to the meeting on Friday because member countries haven’t recognized the Taliban government yet.