UN Security Council meeting ends without agreement on Kabul safe zone

During Monday’s meeting, the UN Security Council failed to reach agreements on the establishment of a safe zone in Kabul. This was reported by Agence France-Presse. A proposal to this effect was made by France and the United Kingdom, but failed: 13 of the 15 council members voted in favour, while Russia and China abstained. Decisions are only adopted when at least nine countries agree. Also, the five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) must agree.

Such a safe zone at the airport of the Afghan capital was necessary, according to French President Emmanuel Macron, to provide humanitarian aid under the protection of the United Nations. The safe zone would also ensure that the United Nations could act quickly in emergency situations. Macron previously stated this in an interview with the French newspaper Sunday newspaper.

However, the Security Council adopted a resolution on Monday stating that it expects the Taliban to honor its promise to allow Afghans with valid exit papers and foreigners to leave in practice. Last weekend, governments of 90 countries, including the United States and the Netherlands, wrote that the Taliban had promised to allow foreigners and Afghans with exit papers to leave the country.

Tuesday, August 31, is seen as the date for the end of the foreign military presence in the country and for the evacuation of Afghans and foreigners. The Taliban have previously stated that they will meet this deadline. Outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) will visit French President Macron on Tuesday, among others to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. Earlier, outgoing Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag (D66) announced that he would leave “as soon as possible” for countries close to Afghanistan, in order to ensure that evacuations are brought back in again.

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This article is also part of our live blog: The last US soldier left Afghanistan

Megan Vasquez

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