US, allies agree to join efforts on Afghanistan

The United States and its allies and partners have affirmed joint efforts to ensure freedom of movement and the protection of women's rights in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas co-hosted an online meeting on Afghanistan on Wednesday. Foreign ministers and other officials from 22 countries, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the United Nations took part.

Blinken and Maas later held a joint news conference at a US air base in Germany.

The Taliban have appointed ministers for its caretaker government, but Blinken said it does not meet the test of inclusivity.
He pointed out that the announced list of names consists exclusively of members of the Taliban or their close associates, and no women.

Maas expressed concern as well, saying he cannot take an optimistic view.

Blinken added that the US and the international community will judge the caretaker Cabinet and the Taliban by their actions.

China and Russia, which have influence over Afghanistan, were absent from the meeting.

Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu told the participants that Japan will continue to work with the global community to achieve the safe passage of those who wish to leave Afghanistan.
He added that Japan will help to step up anti-terrorist measures to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a hotbed for terrorism.

Motegi explained that the Japanese government sent its Middle East envoy Uemura Tsukasa to Doha, the capital of Qatar, to negotiate these issues with the Taliban.

Motegi also pledged about 200 million dollars in aid for Afghanistan and its neighbors by the end of this year to build shelters for evacuees and to supply food and water.