Brussels (Brussels Morning) French President Emmanuel Macron announced he would call on the United Nations to invest effort into creating a “safe zone” in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, with the goal of safeguarding humanitarian operations in the country.
Speaking for the French weekly Journal du Dimanche, Macron said creating such a zone would be very important, providing a framework for the UN to act in an emergency, and allow the international community to “maintain pressure on the Taliban”, acknowledging that the Islamist group is currently in power in the country.
The five permanent UN Security Council members, the US, the UK, Russia, China and France are scheduled to meet today and discuss the developing security and humanitarian situation in the Asian country.
The planned draft resolution on creating a safe zone will be proposed by France and the UK, aiming to define a so-called “safe zone” under UN control in Kabul, ensuring the continuation of humanitarian operations in Afghanistan.
By Sunday, the majority of Western nations had announced an end of their efforts to airlift their citizens and Afghan nationals deemed vulnerable out of the country, as a terrorist suicide attack highlighted the ongoing security threat of attempting to hold and utilise the Kabul airport for humanitarian purposes.
Paris ended its evacuation drive on Friday, and London did so a day later. Speaking on Saturday evening, Macron left the option open of Paris conducting future evacuation operations with help from Qatar, as the country maintains good relations with the Taliban. Another option would be to organise targeted evacuations in the future, using civilian airports in Kabul, or in neighbouring countries.
The French President also confronted those who, he claims, are “stirring up fears” regarding the arrival of Afghan refugees in France, promising to provide solutions to resolve such fears. Macron assured the public that he aims to “manage migratory pressures with humanity”, but also with “firmness”, and an ability to protect the French borders as necessary.