UN chief pays visit to Afghanistan "in solidarity" with its people

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Kabul outskirts, UN Secretary-General António Guterres meets with some of the 800,000 Afghans displaced by conflict in the last 18 months. Photo: UNAMA

The war in Afghanistan has no military solution, the UN chief said on Wednesday as he urged the warring parties to seek a political solution to the conflict together.

António Guterres paid his first visit to the country as Secretary-General where he met with government officials and people recently displaced by the conflict.

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan reached record levels last year from suicide and other complex attacks carried out by extremist Taliban fighters, a report by the UN mission the country (UNAMA) found.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres travelled to Afghanistan on Wednesday to "stand in solidarity" with its people "at a time of violence and suffering."

He also announced that he was fasting during the holy Ramadan period "out of respect for the culture, religion, the Afghan people and the Muslim communities around the world."

Mr Guterres began his visit by meeting with displaced men and women living on the outskirts of the capital city Kabul.

"Obviously, peace is the solution for their problem and the international community, the neighbouring countries, all those that are related to the Afghan crisis need to understand that this is a war that has no military solution; that we need to have a political solution."

The Secretary-General called on the global community to increase the level of humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people and to create the conditions for them to live in dignity.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

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