Blinken warns of Taliban control, preaches path to peace
UPDATED 10:56 AM PT – Thursday, July 29, 2021
Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed the recent Taliban attacks on civilians in Afghanistan. During a press conference in India on Wednesday, he warned that if the Taliban continues to take power then the country will become isolated on the world stage
Recently, Taliban forces have seized multiple strategic border crossings in Afghanistan, in turn, threatening multiple provincial capitals.
“We have also seen these reports of atrocities committed by the Taliban in areas that it has taken over that are deeply, deeply troubling,” Blinken stated. “And certainly do not speak well of the Taliban’s intentions for the country as a whole.”
The Secretary of State went on to say the only way to resolve the conflict peacefully is at the negotiating table.
“The taking over the country by force and abusing the rights of its people is not the path to achieve those objectives,” he continued. “There’s only one path and that’s at the negotiating table to resolve the conflict peacefully, and to have an Afghanistan emerged that is governed in a genuinely inclusive way.”
According to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, enemy-initiated attacks have surged from January to March with officials reporting over 10,000 attacks just this year. In the wake of the rise in violence, representatives for the terrorist organization are looking for support to carry out their campaign.
On Wednesday, Chinese officials met with a delegation from the Taliban in order to discuss the “peaceful reconciliation and reconstruction in Afghanistan”
“The Afghan Taliban is an important military and political force in Afghanistan, and is expected to play an important role in the country’s peace, reconciliation and reconstruction process,” stated Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry. “We hope that the Afghan Taliban will put the interests of the country and nation first, hold high the banner of peace talks, set the goal of peace, build a positive image and pursue an inclusive policy.”
China hopes the Afghan #Taliban will put Afghanistan’s national interests first, uphold commitment to peace talks, embrace the goal of peace, create a positive image and adopt an inclusive policy. pic.twitter.com/GVQKz2kTma
— Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) July 28, 2021
In the meantime, the U.S. said it will conduct airstrikes against the terrorist organization as remaining forces continue to withdraw from Afghanistan.