Australia welcomes US-Taliban agreement on Afghanistan

Australia welcomes the announcement that the United States and the Taliban have signed an agreement on steps toward a political settlement in Afghanistan, and that the Afghan government and US representatives in Kabul have agreed on next steps.

The agreement includes direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, including on a permanent ceasefire, and measures to prevent international terrorist organisations including Al Qaeda and Daesh from operating in Afghanistan.

In a joint news release, Senator Marise Payne, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, and Minister for Defence Senator Linda Reynolds says that

Australia supports agreements and processes that aim to bring peace to Afghanistan after decades of conflict.

In addition, the ministers call on the Taliban to continue to reduce violence and enter into negotiations with the Afghan government in good faith.

They noted that terrorism will continue to present a threat to Afghanistan and the security and stability of Afghanistan will be vital in containing the threat of international terrorism, as well as addressing people and narcotics smuggling.

The ministers added that they are proud of the achievements of the Australian Defence Force, diplomats and aid and other officials in Afghanistan over many years, and acknowledge the invaluable service of these men and women, and the resilient support of their families since 2001.

They also offered their deepest respects to the 41 ADF members killed in action.

The Australian Government will continue to work closely alongside international partners – including through the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission – to ensure its contribution remains appropriate to addressing the challenges facing Afghanistan and preserving the gains of the last 19 years, including the empowerment of women and girls.

 

 

 

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