Russia, China back aid for Afghans in Taliban talks, say US should ‘shoulder’ costs


The Taliban won the backing from top U.S. adversaries in the call for international humanitarian aid to assist Afghans, as concerns of economic collapse grow.

Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, India and five formerly Soviet nations issued a joint statement Wednesday following talks with the Taliban in Moscow, and pointedly called on the U.S. to “shoulder” the costs of financing humanitarian needs in Afghanistan.

“The core burden of post-conflict economic and financial reconstruction and development of Afghanistan must be shouldered by troop-based actors which were in the country for the past 20 years,” the statement read.

The participants in the Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan also called the United Nations to immediately facilitate a “broad-based international donor conference” to address the growing concerns of an impending economic and humanitarian crisis.

Following the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, the U.S. froze billions of dollars in assets provided to the former Afghan government.

International monetary organizations have additionally frozen up to 75% of all fiscal disbursements previously funneled into Afghanistan.

Acting Foreign Minister Maulvi Amir Khan Mottaki told reporters that “all participants in the Moscow Format meeting agreed that Afghanistan’s frozen assets should be released and humanitarian assistance should be provided,” according to a tweet by a Taliban spokesman.

The U.S., along with many of its Western allies, has said funds will not be restored to the interim-Taliban government unless the insurgent group can prove it will work to stop extremism and terrorism from expanding under its rule.

The Taliban has not yet been formally recognized by the international community, but on Thursday China said the group of nations “stressed the importance of respecting Afghanistan’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and upholding the ‘Afghan-owned and Afghan-led’ principle.”

Chinese foreign minister Wang Webin said the collective nations further called on the Taliban to “respect the basic rights of ethnic minorities, women and children” and said China would be in close talks with the Taliban.

Despite already revoking women’s abilities to attend school and work during its two-month rule over Afghanistan, interim Prime Minister Maulvi Abdul Salam Hanafi told reporters Wednesday that women have “great rights in Afghanistan.”

The State Department did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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