3765th Meeting of Security Council: Afghanistan - Resumed

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15-Apr-1997 01:37:27
“Security Council should hear views of Taliban on Afghanistan” Pakistan tells Security Council at 3765th meeting.

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Suggests 'Vacant Seat' Approach for Afghanistan's Representation; Afghanistan Says Pakistan Still Tries to Legitimize Taliban 'Mercenaries'

"It is high time that the Security Council should listen to the views of the Taliban in order to have a more balanced view of the situation in Afghanistan", the representative of Pakistan told the Security Council this afternoon, as it continued its general discussion of the conflict in that country.

Noting that the Taliban currently had representatives in New York, he went on to stress that the Council must begin an immediate dialogue and not take a position that might be perceived as one-sided. To address the issue of recognition of a legitimate government, the United Nations should adopt the "vacant seat" formula endorsed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Such an approach would reflect reality and encourage the factions to move towards broad-based representation in order to secure full international legitimacy and recognition, he said.

The representative of Turkey endorsed the necessity of bringing the Taliban into the negotiation and reconciliation process, adding that the current conflict threatened to partition Afghanistan along ethnic lines. In contrast, the representative of Tajikistan stated that the Taliban had obstructed every attempt to bring the Afghan factions together in a meeting. The representative of Iran added that international efforts in Afghanistan should be founded on respect for that country's sovereignty, and on respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Afghans, particularly women and girls.

The Permanent Observer of the OIC joined Pakistan in calling for a meeting of all the Afghan factions. Specifically, the OIC offered to co-sponsor a meeting of all the Afghan factions that were active both inside and outside Afghanistan, including the monarchy, in order to develop a commonly acceptable framework for addressing the country's political and security issues and a peaceful transfer of power.

During the extended meeting on Afghanistan, which began on Monday afternoon, 14 April, speakers have expressed growing concern about the possibility of resumed military offensives by the various factions, and a number have called for an arms embargo. Terrorism and the dangers of increased drug trafficking have also been a major focus of discussion. Many speakers considered the role of the United Nations crucial in bringing the factions together to renounce hostilities and to pursue negotiations for a broad-based and representative government. Several speakers said it was necessary for the Council to send a clear message to the parties in the conflict to cooperate with the United Nations Special Mission and begin negotiations.

The Acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan this afternoon, reiterating support for a negotiated political solution, said his Government had never denied the Taliban any role in a government. The Taliban alone had obstructed any negotiated efforts. He expressed disappointment over the tone of the statement by Pakistan and its representation of the views of the Taliban. Pakistan still tried to give legitimacy to the "mercenaries" of the Taliban, who were being trained and equipped in Pakistani territory, he said.

Other statements were made by the representatives of the Netherlands (on behalf of the European Union), Germany, Italy and Portugal.

The meeting, which resumed at 4:16 p.m., was suspended at 5:52 p.m. It will resume again at a date to be announced.

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846124, 846125
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