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EU and Central Asian envoys urge Taliban to form inclusive governance and lift women restrictions

European Union (EU) and Central Asia special envoy for Afghanistan met in Turkmenistan Capital, Ashgabat, on Friday, where they urged the Taliban to form an inclusive government and lift all bans on girls and women.

Convened on May 25 and 26, this meeting brought together delegates representing the European Union, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

According to their joint statement, the representatives “reaffirmed their strong commitment to the people of Afghanistan and to seeing Afghanistan develop into a stable, peaceful, and prosperous country with long-term prospects for lasting peace.” The statement reads.

They recalled the concerns expressed in UN Security Council Resolution 2681 (2023) at the increasing erosion of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the dire economic and humanitarian situation and recognized the efforts of the international community to continue assisting the people of Afghanistan in a principled manner and in accordance with international law and universally recognized principles, despite difficult circumstances.

Emphasizing the importance of establishing an inclusive and representative government, the statement underscores the imperative of upholding the civil, political, social, economic, and cultural rights of all citizens of Afghanistan.

The representatives of the European Union and Central Asian countries urged the Taliban to rescind all prohibitions imposed on girls and women of Afghanistan, which curtail their access to education, employment, and meaningful participation in public life.

“These bans – beyond being serious human rights violations – are having detrimental effects on the ability of the international community to deliver humanitarian aid to the Afghan people, and need to be lifted for the Afghan economy to prosper, and ultimately for Afghanistan to achieve long-term stability and peace.” The statement said.

Furthermore, the participants called on the Taliban to prevent the territory of Afghanistan from being used as a safe haven for hosting, planning, training, financing, or exporting terrorism and violent extremism to other countries.