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Blinken sees unity on Taliban after meeting with Pakistan, China

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said he believes the world is united on pressing the Taliban after speaking with Pakistan, China and Russia, key players with Afghanistan’s new rulers.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met with his counterpart from Pakistan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and held talks with ministers of China and Russia. Blinken met Thursday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly with his counterpart from Pakistan, the chief ally of the Taliban regime that was toppled by US troops in 2001, and held talks with ministers of the four other veto-wielding Security Council members including China and Russia.. “I think there is very strong unity of approach and unity of purpose,” Blinken told reporters.

The Taliban says that it seeks legitimacy, that it seeks to support, from the international community.

The relationship that it has with the international community is going to be defined by the actions it takes.

The State Department has said Blinken highlighted “the importance of coordinating our diplomatic engagement” in talks with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Pakistan has called for engagement with the Taliban and the unfreezing of Afghan assets but Qureshi said earlier in the week that there was no rush to recognize a new Taliban government, a step opposed by Western nations.

Qureshi, opening his meeting with Blinken, said, “We have to find a way of collectively working to achieve our common objective, which is peace and stability.”

China and Russia have both moved to engage with the Taliban but have also stopped short of recognition and had longstanding concerns about extremism.

The Taliban swept through Afghanistan last month after President Joe Biden withdrew US troops, saying there was no point in extending America’s longest war beyond 20 years

 

 

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