US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, spoke to Chinese counterpart Wang Yi over the phone on Sunday and discussed the importance of the international community holding the Taliban accountable for the public commitments they have made regarding the safe passage and freedom to travel for Afghans and foreign nationals.
The call comes as the August 31 deadline to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan is nearing. In recent days, the security situation near Kabul Airport from where foreign countries are evacuating their citizens and vulnerable Afghans is deteriorating.
On Thursday, a suicide bomber and multiple ISIS-K gunmen killed 13 U.S. service members and at least 169 Afghan civilians in the attack at the Kabul airport. Wang, meanwhile, urged the US to take “concrete actions” to help combat terrorism, Chinese state media Global Times reported.
“I spoke with People’s Republic of China State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi about our efforts to support the safe passage and freedom to travel for Afghans and foreign nationals,” Blinken tweeted.
Later on Sunday, State Department spokesman Ned Price issued a brief statement saying that Blinken and Wang spoke “about the importance of the international community holding the Taliban accountable for the public commitments they have made regarding the safe passage and freedom to travel for Afghans and foreign nationals”.
This was the second phone call between the two since Kabul fell to the Taliban. Wang said the domestic situation in Afghanistan has fundamentally changed and it is necessary for all parties to engage with and actively guide the Taliban, especially the US.
“Facts have proved once again that the Afghan war has not achieved its goal of eradicating terrorist forces in Afghanistan and a precipitate withdrawal of US and NATO forces could provide opportunities for various terrorist groups in Afghanistan to return,” said Wang.
He also urged the US to work with the international community to help maintain the normal operation of the new Afghan government, social security and stability, and start the peaceful reconstruction of the country as soon as possible.
Blinken said the UN Security Council should send a unified voice to express the expectation of the international community that the Taliban should ensure the safe evacuation of foreign citizens, guarantee that the Afghan people will receive humanitarian aid and avoid becoming a haven for terrorism.