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Security Council "shocked" at expected resumption of fighting in Afghanistan

Security Council "shocked" at expected resumption of fighting in Afghanistan

In light of the "appalling and deteriorating" humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the United Nations Security Council this afternoon expressed shock at the expected resumption of large-scale fighting there.

Briefing correspondents on behalf of members, Council President Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom said any resumption of fighting in Afghanistan would be "extremely bad news."

"Council members thought that a peacefully negotiated political settlement was the only way to a lasting solution to this conflict," he said, expressing the Council's support for UN efforts and other initiatives in the region to produce a political solution to the conflict. He called on all sides and all States to abide by UN sanctions on the Taliban and stressed that the pressure on the religious movement to act against terrorism would continue.

Given the growing humanitarian crisis in the country, Ambassador Greenstock said, Council members called on all States to contribute urgently to the consolidated appeal fund for Afghanistan. They also expressed support for a "two-pronged" approach to the problem of refugees worked out by the United Nations and neighbouring Pakistan, which sought to address the issue of Afghan refugees both in Afghanistan and in Pakistan where many had gone.

Ambassador Greenstock's statement came after private consultations during which UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahima Fall and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kenzo Oshima briefed members on the latest developments in Afghanistan.

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