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The situation in Afghanistan requires a ‘coherent, co-ordinated and concerted’ response by Europe

Tackling the immediate and future momentous challenges posed by the situation in Afghanistan requires a “coherent, co-ordinated and concerted” response by the international community and Council of Europe member States should “spare no effort” to achieve this objective, the Political Affairs Committee said today.

Among these efforts, the Committee cited intensified efforts to provide humanitarian assistance, continue the evacuation of foreign nationals and eligible Afghans and support the central role of the United Nations and its specialised agencies.

Adopting a draft resolution based on a report by Tony Lloyd (United Kingdom, SOC), the parliamentarians stressed that any strengthening of their operational engagement with the Taliban should be subject to respect for human rights and humanitarian law, the rejection of terrorism and violent extremism, and the constitution of an inclusive and representative government.

According to the adopted draft text, “only a government which reflects Afghanistan’s political, religious and ethnic diversity, includes women and engages in a genuine process of reconciliation, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), can lead to a durable political settlement and could aspire to legitimacy and international recognition.”

The draft resolution calls on governments to shoulder "their moral and legal responsibilities" as regards refugee protection and therefore to ensure respect for the principle of non-refoulement, make greater resettlement opportunities available, introduce humanitarian visas and "refrain from enforcing forced returns to Afghanistan”.

The parliamentarians finally called on the member states of the Council of Europe to make available political and financial support to help the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan in their efforts to provide shelter and protection to people fleeing Afghanistan in dignified conditions and to tackle threats such as terrorism and violent extremism.