Afghanistan Heading Towards Collapse Faster Than Expected, Swedish Minister Warns

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DUBAI—Afghanistan volition soon illness into chaos unless the planetary assemblage acts rapidly, Swedish and Pakistani ministers warned connected Saturday.

Afghanistan plunged into situation aft the hardline Islamist Taliban question drove retired the Western-backed authorities successful August triggering the abrupt extremity of billions of dollars successful assistance to its aid-dependent economy.

“The state is connected the brink of illness and that illness is coming faster than we thought,” Swedish improvement curate Per Olsson Fridh told Reuters successful Dubai.

He said economical freefall could supply an situation for violent groups to thrive, but that Sweden would not transmission wealth done the Taliban, alternatively boosting its humanitarian contributions done Afghan civilian nine groups.

Many countries and multilateral institutions person halted improvement assistance but accrued humanitarian assistance since August, reluctant to legitimize the caller Taliban rulers.

Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry aboriginal told Reuters that nonstop engagement with the Taliban was the lone mode to forestall a humanitarian catastrophe, and called for billions of dollars of Afghan assets frozen overseas to beryllium released.

“Are we going to propulsion Afghanistan into chaos oregon are we going to effort and stabilize the country?” helium said successful Dubai.

Engagement would besides promote the extortion of quality rights and the constitution of an inclusive, law government, helium said.

Pakistan has heavy ties with the Taliban and was often accused of supporting the radical arsenic it battled the U.S.-backed authorities successful Kabul for 20 years—charges denied by Islamabad.

Sweden’s Fridh said the Taliban had truthful acold failed to beryllium they had shed the oppressive policies that marked their erstwhile play successful powerfulness from 1996-2001.

He besides said conditions were not close for European countries to reopen embassies successful Kabul. Instead, much diplomatic enactment would instrumentality spot successful Qatar, an important interlocutor betwixt the West and the Taliban.

Fridh met Qatari officials successful the superior Doha this week.

But Chaudhry said it was clip the United States, China, and different large powers acceptable retired a model for ceremonial designation of Afghanistan’s caller rulers and for the removal of United Nations sanctions connected Taliban members, including immoderate members of the caller government.

This, unneurotic with nonstop economical assistance, was the lone mode to avert instability, helium said, adding: “The ticker connected this weaponry is already clicking.”

By Alexander Cornwell

Reuters

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