BRICS condemns high violence in Afghanistan, calls for permanent ceasefire

·3-min read
BRICS foreign ministers
BRICS foreign ministers

New Delhi [India], June 1 (ANI): BRICS member states condemned the continuing "high level of violence" and the security situation in Afghanistan and called for an immediate, permanent and comprehensive cease-fire in the war-torn country.

BRICS foreign ministers on Tuesday held a virtual meeting in which they expressed concerns at continuing conflicts and violence in a different part of the world.

The meeting was convened by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

The meeting was attended by Brazil Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Alberto Franco Franca, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor.

In a statement after the meeting, the ministers stressed that a "stable, democratic, inclusive, independent, prosperous, sovereign, peaceful" Afghanistan is crucial for the progress of the region.

"They expressed their deep concern about the continuing high level of violence and the security situation in Afghanistan and emphasised the need to preserve the gains made over the last two decades and to protect the rights of all Afghan citizens, especially women, children and minorities. They reiterated their commitment towards an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and an important role of the UN in peace-making and peacebuilding in Afghanistan," the statement read.

The ministers also welcomed all international efforts aimed at establishing sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

"They strongly condemned the continuing violence in Afghanistan, especially deliberate targeting of civilians by terrorist groups. They called for an immediate, permanent and comprehensive cease-fire. They stressed the urgent necessity of the elimination of the threat of UNSC proscribed terrorist groups to lasting peace in Afghanistan," the statement added.

Afghanistan has seen a spike in the incidents of violence in recent weeks, since the start of the US drawdown from Afghanistan. US President Joe Biden had announced to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by September 11 this year.

On Israel-Palestine conflict, the ministers welcomed the announcement of the Gaza ceasefire beginning May 21 and stressed the urgency of the restoration of calm in full and reiterated their support for a two-State solution resulting in comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where Israel and Palestine live side by side in peace within secure and recognised borders.

"They supported the Secretary General's call for the international community to work with the United Nations, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), on developing an integrated, robust package of support for a swift and sustainable reconstruction and recovery," the statement added.

During the virtual meeting, the ministers reviewed intra-BRICS cooperation and collaboration and exchanged views on major international and regional issues in the political, security, economic, trade, financial and sustainable development spheres.

Noting that 2021 marks the 15th anniversary of BRICS, they expressed support for strengthening intra-BRICS cooperation in areas of mutual interest in its three pillars - political and security, economy and finance, people-to-people and cultural exchanges.

The ministers reaffirmed their support for an open, transparent, inclusive, non-discriminatory and rules-based multilateral trading system with WTO at its centre.

"The Ministers reiterated that it is critical that all WTO Members avoid unilateral and protectionist measures, which run counter to the spirit and rules of the WTO. They expressed their full support to the WTO's new Director-General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in her challenging tasks ahead. The Ministers looked forward to a successful MC12 and the early resumption of the normal operation of the Appellate Body," the statement added. (ANI)

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