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Afghanistan to top agenda in summit of Islamic countries

AT News

KABUL: Afghanistan will be the top agenda of the meeting of foreign ministers from Organization of Islamic Cooperation which will be held in Islamabad on December 19, with presence of delegations from the European Union and the P5 group of the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.

Afghanistan is facing humanitarian crisis since international aid was abruptly cut following the Taliban takeover on Aug. 15 and fears of disaster if the situation is not brought under control.

Moreover, funding of humanitarian activities has been hindered by sanctions on dealing with the Taliban, the U.S. decision to freeze billions of dollars of central bank reserves held outside Afghanistan and the collapse of much of the country’s banking system.

This is as Pakistani foreign minister called on Saturday for a fresh effort to stop neighbouring Afghanistan sliding further into crisis as he announced an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) later this month.

“To abandon Afghanistan at this stage would be a historic mistake,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi told a news conference in Islamabad, warning that half the country was facing the risk of starvation that could trigger further chaos.

“Instability could give way to renewed conflict, it could trigger an exodus of refugees,” he said.

Pakistan recently agreed to allow 50,000 tonnes of wheat to transit through its territory from India to help Afghanistan but aid agencies have warned that much more help is urgently needed.

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