enior Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Sunday met with Martin Griffiths, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, at the foreign ministry in Kabul.
Griffiths said the UN will continue its support and cooperation with Afghanistan, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said in a tweet.
During the meeting the UN delegation pledged to continue cooperation and assistance to the Afghan people, adding that the next meeting of the donor countries would focus on attracting more aid, Tolo News reported.
Griffiths in a tweet said that he met with the Taliban leadership to “reaffirm the UN’s commitment to deliver impartial humanitarian assistance and protection” to the people of Afghanistan.
“I met with the leadership of the Taliban to reaffirm @UN’s commitment to deliver impartial humanitarian assistance and protection to millions in need in Afghanistan.”
In a statement, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, said that Griffith’s Kabul visit was “at the request of” the UN chief.
“During his visit Griffiths met with Mullah Baradar and the leadership of the Taliban in Kabul to engage with the authorities on humanitarian issues.”
“Griffiths reiterated the humanitarian community’s commitment to deliver impartial and independent humanitarian assistance and protection to millions of people in need. He emphasized the critical role of women in the delivery of aid and called on all parties to ensure their rights, safety and well-being.
“He called for all civilians – especially women and girls and minorities – to be protected at all times. Griffiths expressed his solidarity with the people of Afghanistan,” the statement said.
“The authorities pledged that the safety and security of humanitarian staff, and humanitarian access to people in need, will be guaranteed and that humanitarian workers – both men and women – will be guaranteed freedom of movement. The authorities committed to cooperate with the humanitarian community to ensure assistance is delivered to the people of Afghanistan,” the statement said.
The statement did not clarify on what it meant by “the authorities”, which presumably refers to the Taliban authorities.
“Further meetings are expected in the coming days,” it said.
The statement also said that “as Afghanistan faces a looming humanitarian catastrophe, the Secretary-General has convened a high-level ministerial meeting to address the growing humanitarian needs in the country. An urgent scale-up in funding is required so the lifesaving humanitarian operation can continue. The United Nations continues to stand in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan.”