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US, EU call on Taliban to end military offensive in Afghanistan

International diplomats to Afghanistan, including from the United States, have called on Taliban militants to urgently end their current military offensive.

International diplomats to Afghanistan, including from the United States, have called on Taliban militants to urgently end their current military offensive.

The joint statement from the diplomatic missions to the country, published on Monday and signed among others by the EU delegation and the Office of the NATO Senior Civilian Representative, said that the ongoing Taliban offensive is leading to civilian casualties, the displacement of people, and the destruction of public infrastructure across the country.

“The Taliban’s offensive is in direct contradiction to their claim to support a negotiated settlement of the conflict and to the Doha peace process,” the statement said.

It also condemned “credible reports” of attempts to repress the human rights of women and girls and to shut down private and public media organizations in an attempt to conceal their human rights abuses and diminish freedom of expression.

“Afghans have made numerous gains over the past twenty years and want to continue building on their achievements in development, human rights, and free speech. We want to underscore that progress made over the past years can only be sustained if all parties work together.”

The statement comes a day after a high-level Afghan delegation concluded a two-day meeting with representatives of the Taliban in Doha, Qatar.

Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban in Doha, after the meeting said that the parties agreed to continue such high-level meetings in the future in a bid to find a political solution to the ongoing conflict.

The warring sides, he continued, have also agreed to prevent harm to the public infrastructure.

Recently, the head of the Afghan Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission said that the Taliban had destroyed at least 260 public service buildings in 116 districts.

Since international troops began to draw down in May this year, the security situation in Afghanistan has dramatically deteriorated.

A dpa survey has found that the militants currently control just over 50 per cent of the approximately 400 districts in 34 provinces of the embattled country.

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