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U.K. To Call On China, Russia To Coordinate In International Engagement On Afghanistan


British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss

Britain’s foreign secretary will call on China and Russia to agree on a coordinated international approach to prevent Afghanistan becoming a haven for militants during a meeting on September 22 of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"If we want to avoid Afghanistan becoming a haven for global terror then the international community -- including Russia and China -- needs to act as one in its engagement with the Taliban," Liz Truss said in a statement ahead of the meeting.

Britain, which is currently coordinating the so-called P5 group of permanent Security Council members, will use the meeting to call for greater cooperation to improve international security, with a particular focus on Afghanistan.

The meeting between Guterres, Truss, and her counterparts from China, Russia, the United States, and France is scheduled to take place during the UN General Assembly in New York.

The Taliban's rapid takeover of Afghanistan last month as the United States and NATO troops withdrew from the country has raised fears that Afghanistan could again become a haven for Islamist militants planning to carry out strikes on the West.

The Taliban-led government has promised not to let that happen again. When it ruled the country from 1996 to 2001, Osama bin Laden plotted the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

Last week at a meeting of the Russia and China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a security bloc, Chinese President Xi Jinping said "relevant parties" in Afghanistan should eradicate terrorism and that China would provide more help to the country within its capacity.

Russian President Vladimir Putin used his speech at the meeting to say the security bloc should "use its potential" to "stimulate the new Afghan authorities" in fulfilling their promises on normalizing life and bringing security in Afghanistan.

He also said it "makes sense" to work with the United States and other Western powers to gradually unfreeze Afghanistan's assets and restore programs through the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

With reporting by Reuters
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