Swiss diplomacy chief urges speedy help for Afghanistan 

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis at the European headquarters of the United Nation in Geneva, Switzerland, Keystone / Salvatore Di Nolfi

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis has called on the international community to deliver rapid, decisive, and well-coordinated humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.  

This content was published on September 13, 2021 - 16:01

Cassis gave the opening remarks at Monday’s United Nations donor conference for the central Asian nation that fell under control of the Islamist Taliban movement. 

Switzerland’s diplomacy chief urged Afghanistan’s new rulers, who adhere to a hardline interpretation of Sharia (Islamic Law) to “ensure the security of humanitarian and development actors.” 

Respect for human rights, particularly the protection of minorities and women and girls, must be ensured, Cassis said, adding that the gains in these areas should be protected.  

Many international experts fear the Taliban will repeat the harsh rule it imposed from 1996 to 2001, a period in which Afghan girls were denied an education. 

  + Switzerland boosts aid to Afghanistan 

The goal of the international meeting in Geneva is to fight hunger in Afghanistan and keep public life from collapsing. 

Meeting with Yemeni leader 

Separately, Cassis met his counterpart from Yemen, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak in Geneva for talks on the humanitarian situation in Yemen and the prospect of a political solution to the conflict in the Arab nation. 

Cassis called for unrestricted access to the civilian population, according to a foreign ministry statement. 

Conflict erupted in the poorest nation of the Arab Peninsula in 2014. The conflict pits the Saudi-backed government against the Houthi rebels, which have the support of Iran. 

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